Anthony Mills, a former Atlanta gynecologist, and Raphael Ogunsusi, a licensed pharmacist who owned two pharmacies, have pleaded guilty for their roles in operating an Atlanta-area “pill mill” network that supplied addicts and drug dealers with large amounts of dangerous prescription drugs through illegal prescribing and dispensing.
“Mills and Ogunsusi are now admitted drug dealers who violated the public’s trust by engaging in black-market sales of staggering amounts of dangerous opioid pills,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “With opioid overdoses continuing to rise in Georgia, our office will continue to devote resources to prosecuting licensed professionals who fuel rather than help to stem the opioid epidemic.”
“The dispensing of addictive prescription pain medication under the guise of a doctor’s care isn’t about the good of the community or an individual’s specific health needs – it’s about greed,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Atlanta Field Division. “Individuals like these defendants who operated a ‘pill mill’ are nothing more than drug dealers who are licensed to wear white coats and carry stethoscopes. They will now face the consequences for their criminal actions.”
“These pleas should serve as a warning to any medical professional considering exploiting their patients for profit: you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will pay a steep price,” said Lisa Fontanette, Assistant Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “IRS-CI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring those seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their patients, to justice.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Anthony Mills was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of Georgia since 1997, and whose specialty was listed with the medical board as “Gynecology.” Since at least October 2018, Mills operated a “pill mill” out of his personal residence, where he issued prescriptions for controlled substances (such as large quantities of oxycodone) to drug addicts and drug dealing “sponsors” in exchange for cash payments. Mills did not obtain necessary prior medical records of his “patients,” conduct physical exams, or do anything to establish a valid patient-physician relationship. Instead, he issued prescriptions in the names of individuals he never met or evaluated. Some of the prescriptions that Mills issued were in the names of individuals whose identities had been stolen and others who were incarcerated or deceased at the time Mills wrote the prescriptions.
A large percentage of the illegitimate prescriptions written by Mills to drug-dealing sponsors were filled by licensed pharmacist Raphael Ogunsusi through his pharmacies, Evansmill Pharmacy and Retox Pharmacy. Ogunsusi knew that Mills operated a pill mill out of his home, and that Mills prescribed in excess of medically appropriate dosages and combinations of controlled substances. But Ogunsusi nonetheless dispensed controlled substances pursuant to prescriptions issued by Mills and others, which Ogunsusi knew were issued without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.
Ogunsusi accepted large cash payments in exchange for filling these illegal prescriptions, including as much as $900 to fill just one prescription for oxycodone and $500 to fill one prescription for Percocet. Ogunsusi knew these prices were well above the market value for legitimate prescriptions. To disguise the significantly inflated prices that he was charging to dispense illegal controlled substance prescriptions, Ogunsusi falsified, and directed others to falsify, the pricing information on his pharmacy computers to give the appearance that he had charged market prices for the controlled substance prescriptions. Ogunsusi also required sponsors to purchase a battery of additional non-controlled substances, which he referred to as the “Shebang,” as a condition for filling illegal controlled substance prescriptions. The purpose of these non-controlled substances was to maximize profits for his illegal dispensing. Ogunsusi also directed his pharmacy employees, including another licensed pharmacist, to dispense the illegal prescriptions.
Ogunsusi also pled guilty to money laundering based upon his purchase of an airplane using the proceeds of his illegal drug dispensing and distribution.
In addition to Mills and Ogunusi, pharmacist Moses Kirigwi, as well as sponsors Brittany Tinker and Keandre Bates, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Mills and Ogunsusi. Criminal charges remain pending against eight additional defendants.
Anthony Mills, 56, of Atlanta, Georgia, will be sentenced on February 7, 2023. Keandre Bates and Moses Kirigwi will be sentenced on February 6, 2023. Sentencing dates for Ogunsusi and Brittany Tinker have not yet been scheduled.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. O’Neal and Laurel Boatright Milam are prosecuting the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.