ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A federal court jury in Ashland has found a Florida doctor guilty of conspiring with a pain clinic owner to illegally prescribe hundreds of thousands of pills to several hundred local residents.
57-year-old Dr. Clara S. Rodriguez-Iznaga was convicted of conspiracies to distribute controlled substances and money laundering.
According to evidence presented at the trial, in a one year span starting in 2008, Rodriguez-Iznaga made approximately $641,000 in cash by unlawfully prescribing 600,000 oxycodone pills at her pain clinic in Florida. Most of her patients traveled from West Virginia, southern Ohio and Boyd, Lawrence and Greenup counties along with other eastern Kentucky counties.
Witnesses testified that, while they went to other Florida pain clinics to obtain pills, Rodriguez-Iznaaga was the easiest doctor to obtain a prescription from and that she prescribed the highest quantity of medication.
Testimony also proved that the Rodriguez-Iznaaga conducted little or no examination before writing the prescriptions.
Rodriguez-Iznaga saw as many as 30 to 35 patients a day, collecting $150 to $160 cash for each office visit. She also supervised the in-house pharmacy which often charged more than $1,000 in cash to fill a prescription.
Rodriguez-Iznaga opened Florida Global Medical pain clinic in June 2008 with co-defendant Jody Robinson. They used fliers to solicit Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia patients. Over 600 patients came to her clinic from those states. The clinic grossed $1.9 million in one year.
In an attempt to thwart investigators, Rodriguez-Iznaga and Robinson hired a security guard to watch for informants and undercover law enforcement officers.
Last month, Robinson pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2013.
Rodriguez-Iznaga will be sentenced in April. She faces a maximum of 20 years on the drug conspiracy and 20 years on the money laundering conspiracy.
The U.S Attorney says approximately 30 people have now been charged and convicted for their roles in drug conspiracies related to this case.
Thursday afternoon, Jody L. Robinson, 38, of Portsmouth, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money during a hearing in federal court in Covington, Ky.
Prosecutors say from July of 2008 until September of 2009, Robinson admitted he made more than $400,000 using a doctor to unlawfully write prescriptions to patients from Lawrence, Boyd and Greenup Counties in Kentucky.
Patients from West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee also obtained prescriptions from the clinics.
A co-defendant, William Muldoon, 34, of Margate, Fla., also pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Robinson hired Muldoon to advertise the clinics.
Prosecutors say the patients paid between $150 and $160 in cash for a prescription that consisted mostly of Oxycodone. The prescriptions were typically filled for $300 at the clinics’ in-house pharmacy.
According to his plea agreement, Robinson opened the Ohio Pain Relief Center in Scioto County because it was more convenient for patients and because of the pressure he felt from Florida media reports on rogue pain clinics that service out of state patients.
Robinson, who previously worked in the automotive industry, admitted that he opened a pain clinic known as Florida Global Medical in July of 2008 because he had heard about the profit potential.
Muldoon admitted he was paid at least $30,000 to build a website for the Florida clinic, develop medical software and create flyers to advertise the clinics’ services.
Robinson and Muldoon will be sentenced in May.. Each
defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office says Jody Robinson, 37, of Portsmouth, Ohio, was arrested Thursday on an arrest warrant out of the Fairfield County Common Pleas Court.
The indictment charges Robinson with 82 counts of trafficking in drugs, and one count on engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
The Sheriff says Robinson was the former manager of the Ohio Pain Relief Center that was located along Old Scioto Trail in the Rosemount area.
Robinson is currently being held in the Scioto County Jail waiting to be extradited to Fairfield County.
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