Florida Pill Mill Physicians Begin Trial
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 25, 2013 - The criminal trial of two South Florida “pill mill” doctors commenced on a recent Friday in a West Palm Beach federal court.
Cynthia Cadet, 43, of Parkland, is blamed in the overdose deaths of seven people. Joseph Castronuovo, 74, of Key Largo, is blamed for another two deaths. During opening statements, federal prosecutor Paul Schwartz told the jury the doctors had become “dope dealers.” Defense attorneys said they were innocent, caring doctors.
“It will take a long time to legally sort out all the damage done by Florida's formerly lax painkiller laws,” said Tampa personal injury lawyer Robert Joyce. “And this is what we're seeing now. It is a physician's responsibility not to enable a drug addict, and prosecutors will have to prove these doctors acted irresponsibly with their prescriptions.”
Defense attorneys also told jurors that prosecutors are punishing the doctors for refusing to plead guilty to their charges. Castronuovo and Cadet are the final remaining defendants fighting their charges out of 32 individuals charged three years ago. Those charges came from a long investigation into clinics owned by brothers Jeffrey and Christopher George.
Prosecutors said the clinics were “drug dens” masquerading as legitimate medical facilities. Scores of people would routinely line up outside the clinics, and altercations between patients in the waiting room happened so frequently that security guards were needed to maintain order. Patients would openly abuse the painkillers, usually oxycodone, in the parking lots of the clinics, prosecutors said.
Christopher George is expected to take the stand to testify against the two doctors and tell jurors that the clinics he owned with his brother made over $40 million and sold over 20 million oxycodone pills from 2008 to 2010. One of the clinics brought in so much money that staffers stored the cash in garbage bins, which they brought to the brothers' homes after bank officials became wary of accepting such large deposits. During a raid on the brothers' clinics and homes, federal agents found nearly $5 million in cash.
The doctors have been released on bond, but they face the possibility of life in prison if convicted of the highest charge: possession with intent to distribute controlled substances resulting in death. The trial is expected to last two months.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Family of Corey Jones files Florida wrongful death lawsuit
The family of a man killed by a Florida police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the city of Palm Beach Gardens. Corey Jones, a 31-year-old African-American man who was employed as a property manager and played drums in his church, was killed by Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman […]
- Fatal Florida car accident raises concerns about safety in autonomous vehicles
The rapidly developing technology of self-driving cars holds the promise of an enormously positive impact on public safety, with many experts claiming that over 90 percent of car accident fatalities could be eliminated if autonomous vehicles become widespread. However, that claim was called into question recently, when it was revealed that the driver of a […]
- Tampa area pill mill doctor sentenced to prison
On May 23, a federal judge sentenced Edward Feldman, age 76, to 25 years in federal prison. As a doctor, he improperly prescribed pain medications to addicts in his Tampa area clinic, leading to three patient deaths, a jury found. U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore told Feldman, “You became a drug pusher,” and said […]