TX: Doctor and Clinic Owner Sentenced for $5M Pill Mill Scheme

A doctor and a clinic owner were sentenced yesterday for their roles in a pill mill scheme.

Jonathan Rosenfield, M.D., 40, of Atlanta, and Elmer Taylor, 44, of Houston, were sentenced to 10 and 12 years in prison, respectively, following their guilty pleas to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances.

According to court documents, Rosenfield owned, operated, and was a physician at the two Sunnyside Medical pill-mill clinics, which did business as Sunnyside Wellness, and Elmer Taylor co-owned and co-operated the clinics. Rosenfield, Taylor, and their co-conspirators issued prescriptions for opioids, including approximately 752,000 pills of oxycodone and 419,000 pills of hydrocodone, under Rosenfield’s name, outside the usual course of professional practice, and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The prescriptions often were issued to individuals paid by drug dealers to pose as patients, and the pills ultimately were diverted to the illegal market. From May 2018 to August 2019, the Sunnyside Medical clinics grossed approximately $5,478,000 from the sale of these prescription drugs.

Co-defendants Sokari “Momma” Bobmanuel and Alantha Stewart were previously sentenced to 14 years and 10 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Martinez of the FBI Houston Field Office made the announcement.

The DEA Houston Division and FBI Houston Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Monica Cooper, Ariel Glasner, and Courtney Chester of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Emily Petro, formerly of the Fraud Section and currently an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, 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 5,000 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $24.7 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.

Press Release

Tags: Drug Trafficking DTO Opioid Crisis

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