By Nathan Pilling
BELLBROOK — A local doctor has been indicted on 44 charges related to an alleged “pill mill” operation in Bellbrook. Dr. John Moore, 60, of Centerville, has been accused of dozens of charges related to the operation, which is alleged to have been run out of the offices of Synergistic Health Centers on Lakeman Drive.
According to Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Haller, the charges result from an investigation that has been underway for more than two years.
“The purpose of the illicit enterprise was to make as much money as possible for Dr. John P. Moore III,” an indictment of charges against Moore states. The indictment was filed in Greene County Common Pleas Court Aug. 28. “… The illicit enterprise, sought to produce as much money as it could via improper prescribing, commonly known as drug trafficking and other illicit acts such as defrauding workers compensation, defrauding Medicaid, and conspiring to do so.”
“What [a ‘pill mill’] means is … a doctor or physician who’s selling prescription meds or writing prescriptions for high-powered narcotics, usually opiates, without a sufficient medical reason,” Haller said. “Sometimes it’s described as selling pills like candy.”
Felony charges against Moore include an engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity charge, conspiracy charges, a Medicaid fraud charge, theft charges, drug trafficking charges, a forgery charge, a permitting drug abuse charge, among others. In the indictment, the grand jury also included a major drug offender specification for Moore.
Drugs alleged to have been prescribed in the operation include Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Suboxone, Morphine, Percocet and others.
“These are high-powered narcotics,” Haller said. “These opiates, as we know, are very addictive and unfortunately there are some ‘bad doctors’ who are selling them without sufficient medical reasons.”
Agencies included in the investigation include the Greene County ACE Task Force, the Bureau of Workers Compensation, the Ohio Medical Board, the Ohio Attorney General’s office and others.
As part of the investigation, agencies seized approximately $100,000 from Synergistic Health Centers as “proceeds of the criminal enterprise” in 2014.
The indictment also notes that Moore is a prior convicted felon: “Moore’s prior felony conviction came about because of his participation in an illegal scheme to defraud health care programs. He was sentenced on October 7, 2002.”
It also notes that the Ohio State Medical Board voted to permanently revoke Moore’s medical license, but stayed that decision and instead imposed a suspension. Moore’s license to practice was later reinstated, and he was released from medical board probation in 2012.
A call placed to Moore’s office seeking comment was not returned by press time. Signs at the Lakeman Drive building indicate that it is currently for sale.
Moore is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 11 in Greene County Common Pleas Court.
“We’re trying to shut down a pill mill, we’re trying to prosecute drug dealers, but we also recognize the fact that a lot of people, unfortunately, are addicted now to heroin, and we’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” Haller said of growing opiate addiction numbers in Greene County. “But we need to get these people into the system and figure out a way to treat the addiction.”