If you've been reading here for a while, you remember former New Times writer Tom Francis, who has since moved on to more mysterious plans elsewhere in the country. Whatever he's been up to, it's involved rooting around in the court records of Chris and Jeff George, the Wellington twins who are both in prison in connection with their establishment of one of the largest pill-mill scams in U.S. history.
Check out Tom's long (looong) story on MSNBC.com
for the whole deal, but if you're here looking for some more info, here's some that we've published over the past few months.
Tom fit most of this stuff into his story next to the awesome and ridiculous details about monster trucks, cash burning in barrels, and a guy driving off a Panamanian cliff, but there might be something here for you if you're curious:
-- The first place to go is probably our story from February on the sentencing of Chris George to 17 years in prison
: Court documents show George's clinics were found to have distributed 18 million pills resulting in at least 56 deaths. Oh, and his crack staff of technicians and trained professionals included "an individual who was otherwise employed as a bikini model."
-- Later that month, Beau Boshers, one of 13 doctors charged in the George brothers' scheme, was sentenced to six years in prison
in connection with personally dealing an estimated 3.6 million pain pills over two years. The post also includes information about the assembly-line method of shoving as many clients through the clinics as possible.
But from there, you can probably start at the beginning:
-- August 24, 2011: The brothers were originally caught up in "Operation Prescription for Death
," a wide-reaching investigation spurred on by the death of pill-mill client Joey Bartolucci. Prosecutors said Chris George kidnapped a man, threatened him with a gun, paid him "not to reveal the circumstances of the kidnapping," then tried to kill him using a hit man who turned out to be a government informer.
-- August 30, 2011: Jeff George pleads guilty
to second-degree murder in the death of Bartolucci. The doctor who actually prescribed the pills to Bartolucci was believed to have distributed more than 300,000 pills by himself and was charged with first-degree murder.