Department of Justice Press ReleaseMontgomery, Ala. – On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Dr. Robert M. Ritchea, 54, of LaGrange, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for operating a “pill mill” through his medical practice and for money laundering, announced Acting United States Attorney A. Clark Morris. A “pill mill” is a medical clinic created to dispense controlled substances inappropriately, unlawfully, and for non-medical reasons.
According to court documents, Dr. Ritchea operated a family medical practice in Phenix City, Alabama. At that practice, Dr. Ritchea wrote prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and hydromorphone, knowing that his patients did not actually need the drugs prescribed. Dr. Ritchea laundered the proceeds of his unlawful drug dealing by purchasing Schedule II pain medications—specifically, hydromorphone and hydrocodone—directly from a drug manufacturer. Dr. Ritchea then distributed the pills directly out of his medical practice. This was necessary to keep his “pill mill” operational since many pharmacists in and around Phenix City refused to fill the illegitimate and unlawful prescriptions Dr. Ritchea wrote.
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A doctor giving Pain Management a bad name has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for running a pill mill. Dr. Robert Ritchea is his name.