A federal jury convicted a Texas physician and clinic office manager yesterday for operating a pill-mill clinic that unlawfully prescribed over 600,000 opioid pills in exchange for cash.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Dr. Oscar Lightner, 73, and Andres Martinez Jr., 29, both of Laredo, operated Jomori Health and Wellness (Jomori), a purported Houston pain management clinic, as a pill mill. Lightner, who was the owner of and physician at Jomori, unlawfully prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances including hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and alprazolam to his patients without a legitimate medical purpose, in exchange for cash payments ranging from $250 to $500 per patient. Martinez, who was Jomori’s office manager and Lightner’s stepson, coordinated with “crew leaders” to bring multiple people – including individuals living in homeless shelters – into Jomori to pose as patients. Jomori received over $1.2 million in cash over fourteen months through its scheme that resulted in the unlawful distribution and dispensing of over 600,000 Schedule II opioids – including hydrocodone – and other controlled substances.
Lightner was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and two counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances. Martinez was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and one count of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances. Lightner and Martinez face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count and are both are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas, and Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the DEA made the announcement.
The DEA investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Monica Cooper and Andrew Tamayo of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.