Physician Pleads Guilty To Drug Distribution and Money Laundering Conspiracies
DUBLIN, GA: On March 21, 2018, gynecologist George “Mack” Bird, III, 59, entered a guilty plea before Senior United States District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen, Jr. to charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, both federal felonies carrying up to five years of imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Bird also conceded that approximately $2.7 million of seized assets and five parcels of land were traceable to proceeds of his crimes, and he agreed to forfeit the same to the United States.
According to information presented at the March 21 hearing, Dr. Bird was the owner and operator of medical practices in Eastman and Dublin, Georgia, from which prescription drugs were sold to patients for cash and prescribed without a legitimate medical purpose. Those drugs included but were not limited to opioids (such as hydrocodone combination products), alprazolam (Xanax), carisoprodol (Soma), phentermine (Adipex), and phendimetrazine (Plegine). In the years leading to his arrest in 2015, Dr. Bird delegated many of his patient care responsibilities to employees who could not legally distribute or dispense controlled substances without a physician’s oversight. To facilitate the distribution and dispensation of controlled substances, Dr. Bird directed his staff to use pre-signed prescription forms and pre-printed medical notes that were placed in patients’ files to give the appearance that the patients had been examined by Dr. Bird when, in fact, they had not been.
Dr. Bird’s criminal conduct netted him millions of dollars. Although he kept a significant portion of that money, Dr. Bird used some of his proceeds to pay his co-conspirators and purchase drugs for eventual distribution.
United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated, “Blinded by greed, Mack Bird broke the law, sold out his patients’ welfare, and violated his solemn oath to do no harm. This Office takes seriously the opioid crisis in the United States and will continue to prosecute drug dealers who fuel addiction and poison the community, whether from the street or inside an exam room.”
U.S. Attorney Christine commended the hard work and dedication of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad and the Oconee Drug Task Force, both of which investigated the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia G. Rhodes and Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For any questions, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422