WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - 30 year old Jeff George was accused of running some of the largest pill mills in Palm Beach County. Tonight, George has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
Margie Galassi was especially interested in learning that George pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in federal court. That's because Galassi's only child, Jeremy, died after overdosing on a mix of prescription and illegal drugs on New Year's Eve 2007.
Galassi says, "There's no excuse for someone to be so greedy at the cost of another human being."
We want to make clear that Galassi doesn't know if Jeremy even bought addictive painkillers from one of George's lucrative pain management clinics. But George did well financially, making tens of millions of dollars, according to prosecutors.
Dave Aronberg, a Special Prosecutor for the Prescription Drug Trafficking Unit of the Attorney General's Office says, "It's symbolic that the kingpin in the pill mill industry is no more."
Galassi just knows Jeremy knew where he could get prescription drugs in large quantities and often. She explains, "About a month before he died he'd been doctor shopping. He had doctors in all of those areas and he would go 3 or 4 times a week."
Last year, the feds shut down four of the clinics George owned in South Florida with his brother, Chris, who is still in prison.
Aronberg says, "I've seen videos of their operation." He says that one particular pain clinic looked "...like a driver's license bureau instead of a medical office" with all of the people standing in line.
With Jeff George's guilty plea, the recommended sentence is up to 20 years in prison and up to 3 years supervised release. But the court could sentence him to more time.
Galassi says, "It's not near enough [time] for the number of lives he has touched and the number of lives he has ruined and the number of children... Someone's child died at his hands for his profit."
George is scheduled to be sentenced January 13th at 10am.