Clinic office manager sentenced for $1.2M pill mill scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – A medical clinic office manager has been sentenced for operating a pill mill clinic that unlawfully distributed over 600,000 opioid pills, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
A federal jury convicted Andres Martinez, Jr., 30, and Dr. Oscar Lightner, 74, both of Laredo, April 11 for unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances and conspiracy.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal has now ordered Martinez to serve 84 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
At the trial, the jury heard evidence that Lightner and Martinez operated Jomori Health and Wellness (Jomori), a purported Houston pain management clinic, as a pill mill. Lightner, owner of and physician at Jomori, unlawfully prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances — including hydrocodone, carisoprodol and alprazolam — to his patients without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments ranging from $250 to $500.
Martinez, Lightner’s stepson, coordinated with crew leaders to bring multiple people, including individuals living in homeless shelters, into Jomori to pose as patients to obtain prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances.
Jomori received more than $1.2 million in cash over 14 months through the scheme that resulted in the unlawful distribution and dispensing of more than 600,000 opioids and other controlled substances.
Lightner was previously sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston Division made the announcement as well.
The DEA conducted the investigation.
Trial Attorneys Monica Cooper and Andrew Tamayo of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, currently comprised of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $27 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.
Updated December 12, 2023
Health Care Fraud