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Press Release

Georgia Doctor Sentenced To Federal Prison in Pill Mill Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia

BRUNSWICK, GA – Paul Spencer Ruble, 64, a doctor from Thomson, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday to serve 5 years in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. Ruble pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to unlawfully dispense controlled substances and launder money on August 22, 2016.


According to information presented during his guilty plea and sentencing hearings, from November 2011 to April 2013, Ruble and other conspirators operated Apex Health & Wellness, a phony pain management clinic in Brunswick, Georgia. Ruble wrote prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other drugs without a medical purpose to drug-seeking customers, who typically paid cash for the prescriptions. During the 17 months the phony clinic was in operation, there were more than 10,000 patient visits, an average of 30 drug-seeking customers each day. Apex Health & Wellness was shuttered on April 24, 2013 after a federal search warrant was executed at the premises. The unlawful business was very profitable until being shut down. During its operation, deposits into an Apex Health & Wellness bank account totaled over $2 million, including cash deposits of over $1.7 million. Ruble was paid just under $500,000 for his services at Apex. The owner of the pill-mill clinic, Marc Frazier, 46, of Satellite, Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty to a similar conspiracy charge in July 2015 and was sentenced by Chief Judge Wood to serve 44 months in prison.


The convictions in this matter resulted from a joint investigation by the DEA, GBI, Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team (GBNET), IRS-CID, and the United States Marshals Service. The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the keystone drug enforcement program of the Department of Justice.


Acting United States Attorney James D. Durham said, “Mr. Ruble was another drug dealer that just happened to wear a white coat. The sad truth is that the owners and operators of sham pill-mill clinics prosper while the patients and members of the community suffer. Those who attempt to profit from pill mills masquerading as pain management clinics in the Southern District of Georgia can expect to find themselves next in a federal prison.”


Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Gilluly, Marcela Mateo and Karl Knoche prosecuted the case for the United States. For additional information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (912) 201-2522.

Updated April 4, 2017