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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Three Clerical Workers Charged for Participating in the Operation of a Montgomery “Pill Mill”

       Montgomery, Ala. –    This week, Misty Michelle Fannin, 41, of Tallassee, Alabama, Jacqueline Suzanne Brownfield, 33, of Wetumpka, Alabama, and Akash Kumar, 27, of Montgomery, Alabama, were arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation and prosecution of a “pill mill,” announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr.   

 

       All of the defendants are alleged to have assisted Dr. Gilberto Sanchez in operating a “pill mill,” out of Family Practice, a medical clinic located at 4143 Atlanta Highway in Montgomery.  Dr. Gilberto Sanchez, previously a Montgomery physician, owned Family Practice.  In November 2017, Dr. Sanchez pled guilty in federal court to drug distribution, health care fraud, and money laundering charges. 

 

       The indictment in this case alleges that Fannin worked as an office administrator for Sanchez and, in that role, helped Sanchez to launder the money generated by the illegal drug distribution.  It also states that Brownfield and Kumar worked in the practice’s billing office and used their positions to commit health care fraud by overbilling for services provided by the nurse practitioners. 

 

       If convicted, Fannin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on the money laundering charges.  Brownfield and Kumar face maximum sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of health care fraud.  All defendants could also be assessed substantial fines and other monetary penalties. 

 

       An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

       This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.  The Montgomery County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, the Montgomery, Alabama Police Department, the Opelika, Alabama Police Department, and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross and R. Rand Neeley are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated January 24, 2018