Federal prosecutors in Atlanta have indicted five Georgians connected with Atlanta Medical Group on federal money laundering and drug charges. Atlanta Medical Group is a pain clinic in Cartersville, Georgia that has been in operation for approximately one year. Prosecutors allege that the clinic operated as a pill mill and unlawfully distributed prescription pain medications to a high volume of patients.
The individuals who have been indicted are Dr. James Chapman, Jason Cole Votrobek, Jesse Violante, Roland Rafael Castellanos and Tara Atkins. Authorities believe that Dr. Chapman was the primary doctor for the clinic and that Atkins worked as the office manager. Castellanos, Violante and Votrobek are believed to have financed the clinic.
Prosecutors allege that the owners of Atlanta Medical Group directed the treating physician to see as many patients as possible and to increase profits by selling them painkillers. It is also alleged that the physician prescribed painkillers without conducting adequate examinations.
Georgia has seen an increase in physicians and healthcare professionals who are prosecuted for prescribing painkillers. In one recent highly publicized case, our firm was retained to represent a respected small town doctor in Hart County, Georgia. While the matter is still ongoing, we are confident that the evidence will clearly show our client’s innocence at trial, if the charges are not dismissed before then.
We are also involved in a federal criminal investigation in another state where prosecutors are accusing a well-respected doctor of operating a “pill mill” despite significant evidence that he is acting within the law. We are hoping to convince the government that they should not bring formal charges against the doctor and his employees. But, if they do, we will be prepared to win the case at trial.
We expect to see many more of these cases, both on the federal and state level, as prosecutors start to target pain clinics and doctors in what used to be matters handled exclusively by local medical boards.