PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities filed additional charges against two men who they say bought rubber stamps for their employees who developed hand cramps from writing so many oxycodone prescriptions out of their illegal pain clinics.
Pasquale Gervasio, 35, of Parkland, and Richard McMillan III, 38, of suburban Delray Beach, were charged on Monday with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, trafficking in oxycodone and trafficking in contraband prescription drugs.
They first were arrested June 8 on a Clay County warrant on a charge of operating an unlicensed pain clinic, after a yearlong, multi-agency investigation called Operation Blue Spoon.
The two are accused of operating pill mills under the name Total Medical Express in Palm Springs and Boca Raton.
An unidentified person who once worked for Gervasio and McMillan told investigators that the two had hired Dr. Arnold Aaron of Boca Raton so that they could list him as the manager of their clinics in order to comply with pain clinic laws that had taken effect Oct. 1.
They wanted Aaron, 75, because he had a reputation for prescribing pills without examining patients, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Another doctor whom they had considered for the job was fired for not prescribing enough oxycodone, the probable cause affidavit says.
Within days of the new law, Aaron, a board-certified practitioner and anesthesiologist, was listed in records as the manager of clinics in Palm Springs, Boca Raton, Margate, Orlando and Orange Park, according to documents signed days before the law.
He was arrested June 13 in a retirement home in Michigan on charges of operating an unlicensed pain clinic.
Authorities say Aaron did not manage the clinics and was paid by Gervasio and McMillan as an employee.
The new law also limited the volume of prescriptions from pain clinics to a three-day supply of pills.
So Gervasio and McMillan opened Country Value Pharmacy next to one of their alleged pill mills in Boca Raton.
They paid a pharmacist $500 a month to display his certificate in the store, the probably cause affidavit said.
Gervasio and McMillan were arrested as a part of seven raids in Palm Beach and Broward counties, including on clinics in Palm Springs and Boca Raton.
Also arrested that day were Boca Raton clinic manager Adelard LeFrancois, 41, and pharmacist Mark Donegan, 51, both of suburban Boca Raton; and Dr. Sherri Pinsley, 65, of suburban Delray Beach.
The three were charged with operating an unlicensed pain clinic, trafficking in contraband and other related crimes.