Monday, 01 14, 2013
Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
General Conway and United States Attorney of the Eastern District, Kerry B. Harvey, today jointly announced the indictment of 44-year-old Ernest William Singleton, Double D. Holdings, LLC and S & R Medical Enterprise, LLC, dba Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management Center (formerly in Georgetown, Ky.) and Grant County Wellness Clinic (formerly located in Dry Ridge, Ky.) for prescription drug and money laundering conspiracies.
Singleton was arrested at the Washington County Sheriff's Department this morning and is charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to launder funds from October 2010 until January 2013.
"Illegal pill mills have fueled the prescription drug epidemic in Kentucky that now kills more people than traffic accidents," General Conway said. "I appreciate the hard work of my Drug Branch Investigators, working in coordination with our state and federal law enforcement partners, in bringing this case forward."
The charges against Singleton are the result of an investigation by General Conway's Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI), working in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Kentucky State Police. Prosecution of this case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In addition to the indictment, Singleton, Double D and S&R Medical Enterprises are subject to the forfeiture of farm land, vehicles, businesses and other property that were acquired as proceeds of or used to facilitate the alleged crimes. Search and seizure warrants were executed today at numerous locations including a Georgetown pharmacy co-owned by Singleton and two private residences in Springfield and Lawrenceburg.
Singleton closed his pain management centers in Kentucky and opened a center in Jeffersonville, Ind. following the implementation of House Bill 1, which requires that the owner of a pain management clinic be a licensed physician.
A date for Singleton to appear in federal court has not yet been set. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count.
While no physicians were named in this indictment, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (KBML) has taken disciplinary action against five doctors affiliated with the Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management Center and Grant County Wellness Clinic. Two have agreed to indefinite practice restrictions and must pay $10,000 fines for violating the Medical Practice Act, while one physician remains suspended pending final action by the KBML.
A charge is merely an accusation and a person is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.
Combating Prescription Drug Abuse
Attorney General Conway worked closely with Governor Beshear, House Speaker Stumbo and other lawmakers to win passage of landmark legislation in 2012 to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription pills in the Commonwealth.
Since its implementation on July 20, 2012, 10 pain clinics have shut their doors and more than 35 physicians have been disciplined for prescribing violations.
In 2009, General Conway launched Kentucky's first and only statewide Prescription Drug Diversion Task Force to increase investigations into pill mills, overprescribing physicians, prescription drug trafficking and doctor shopping. To date, General Conway's Drug Investigations Branch and Task Force have opened more than 430 cases, including a year-long undercover investigation of Dr. Richard Albert who operated a pill mill in Paintsville, Ky. Dr. Albert pled guilty to federal charges in connection with the investigation.
The Task Force also participated in Operation Flamingo Road, the state's largest prescription drug bust that resulted in the arrests of more than 500 people.
In 2010, Attorney General Conway joined with state government and law enforcement partners, as well as concerned parents, to launch a statewide prescription drug prevention and education initiative called Keep Kentucky Kids Safe. To date, the partners have warned more than 15,000 middle and high school students across Kentucky about the dangers of abusing prescription medications.
In addition to his law enforcement and education efforts, General Conway reached across party lines to work with Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi to ensure that her state implemented an electronic prescription drug monitoring system similar to Kentucky's KASPER system. The two continue to work closely to combat prescription drug abuse in their respective states and nationally and are co-chairing the National Association of Attorneys General's (NAAG) Substance Abuse Committee.
For more information on General Conway's drug diversion efforts or the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, please visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse.