GA: Owner of Garden City clinic charged for role in providing access to notorious ‘pill mill’ doctor

Savannahnow News –

The owner of a Garden City clinic has been charged for their role in operating a clinic that provided a base from which a notorious “pill mill” doctor dispensed massive amounts of controlled substances, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia office.

In a five-count indictment returned by a U.S. District Court grand jury, Jamesetta Whipple-Duncan, 58, of Savannah, is charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises, solicitation and receipt of kickbacks, false statements in a loan and credit application, falsification of records, and false statements said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby L. Christine.

“The fight against the opioid addiction crisis must attack the full illegal supply pipeline, from street-corner dealers, to white-coated prescribers, to enabling businesses providing storefront space,” said U.S. Attorney Christine.

As described in court documents and testimony, Whipple-Duncan, as owner of the now-closed Georgia Laboratory Diagnostics LLC in Garden City, was an employer of Dr. Frank Bynes Jr., 69, of Savannah, who was sentenced in February 2020 to 240 months in prison after being found guilty by a federal jury on 13 counts of unlawful dispensation of controlled substances and three counts of health care fraud.

Bynes was ordered to pay $615,145 in restitution to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare

According to the press release, from approximately January 2017 to September 2017, Whipple-Duncan “profited significantly from this clinic, both in the form of cash from many addicted patients and kickbacks paid to Whipple-Duncan from a laboratory that processed the clinic’s urine tests.

Whipple-Duncan “obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars” as part of the clinic’s proceeds, according to the indictment.

The indictment also alleges that Whipple-Duncan solicited and received kickbacks by falsely claiming to be an employee of an Oklahoma laboratory that paid Whipple-Duncan to submit referrals for urine tests that the laboratory then billed to Medicare and Georgia Medicaid for nearly $500,000.

The charges carry a possible sentence upon conviction of up to 30 years in prison, along with substantial financial penalties and up to four years of supervised release, according to the press release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

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