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Jeffrey George

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Jeffrey George
Jeff George.jpg Jeff George.jpg
Mugshot of Jeffrey George
BornNovember 11, 1980
West Palm Beach, Florida
🏳️ Nationality
Pill Mill Kingpin
💼 Occupation
Business Owner
🏡 Home townRoyal Palm Beach and Wellington, Florida
Criminal statusIn federal prison. Release date: 2025

Jeff George is an American former businessman, co-owning and operating alongside his brother Chris George, businesses in the medical, pharmaceutical, telemarketing, e-commerce and real estate sectors. They are convicted felons known as the Pill Mill Kingpins for running the largest, most sophisticated illegal pill distribution organization in United States history.[1] [2] [3]

In 2011, Jeff pleaded guilty to federal Racketeering Conspiracy (RICO) and Florida Murder and Drug Trafficking Conspiracy charges, and was sentenced to 15 1/2 and 20 years concurrent, respectively.[4] [5] The George's true story of pain has been the basis and/or featured for an upcoming Warner Bros. movie, TV Documentaries on History Channel, Investigative Discovery and CNBC, and books. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Early Life[edit]

Jeffrey George was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, on November 11, 1980, along with his twin brother Christopher George. The only children of Denice Haggerty and prominent Real Estate developer John P. George. Jeff grew up in Wellington in a wealthy environment.[3] His father was a developer in multiple Florida counties, owning Majestic Homes, which was also featured on ABC's America's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV show in 2008. [13]

South Florida was one of the first places to be hit by the housing bubble crisis in 2008, which led to the closing of John's west coast Majestic Homes office run by Chris George. After returning to his native Palm Beach County, he met again with his brother Jeff, who founded an enterprise that would later become way more profitable than Real Estate.[3] His father's companies, in 2011, had defaulted $4 million on a loan from Bank of America. JPG Enterprises Inc and Majestic Homes & Realty, both managed by John P. George, were filed to foreclose.[14]

The Pill Mill Kingpins[edit]

South Florida, and the George Brothers more specifically, were the vanguard for what the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) called an "epidemic" of oxycodone addiction and death. In 2008, pill overdoses killed 14,800 Americans. By 2009, at the peak of the George Brothers clinics, opioid abuse reached a record number worldwide. That year, 37,485 Americans died from narcotics overdoses.[3]

It all started with Jeff, who was selling steroids and human growth hormone via the internet and muscle magazines through South Beach Rejuvenation telemarketing firm, which was founded in 2006.[4] A physician would write prescriptions without conducting a physical examination, according to a criminal indictment. This type of practice is illegal. South Beach Rejuvenation's prescriptions reached Olympic athletes such as Adrian Findlay, a member of the Jamaican Olympic track and field team who ended up being suspended due to illegal steroids use. [15]

Jeff would soon meet with a physician named William Overstreet, who was also know as "Candyman". Being experienced in Florida's health care regulations, Overstreet explained how the real money was in Oxycodone.[3] Under Candyman's guidance, Jeff George founded his first pain clinic organization called South Florida Pain in early 2008, located at Wilton Manors. His brother would soon join him. Chris would soon become the day-to-day operator, while Jeff worked in the corporation's office.. Their business started in Florida and expanded to Georgia, Texas and Missouri. Their clinics were named:[3] [16]

-South Florida Pain;

-East Coast Pains;

-Hallandale Pain;

-Hollywood Pain;

-American Pain;

-Executive Pain;

-Pain Express.

These "Pill Mills" as they were often referred to, prescribed and distributed oxycodone to patients around the county, to over a 1000 per day, with 80% of the clinics patients being from out of the state.[16] [10] George also started two pharmacies and an MRI center as part of the organization. [2] [4] [3] [17]

The clinics would attract crowds of addicts from out-of-state. The police would investigate, but when the heat got too high, they would change locations. The doctors were hired through Craigslist and sometimes had no experience with pain pills. As Chris George once said in a wired call with a manager: "You know what, people don't care as long as he's writing the scripts."

The brothers knew people were dying after their visits to the pain clinics, but they did not care. "They showed a callous disregard for their patients, including not caring whether they lived or died," said Wifredo Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for South Florida.[4]

One of their clinics, American Pain, was the biggest single clinic in the country, with a 20,000 square-foot building in Lake Worth. It was also known as a "Super Wal Mart" of addiction. Doctors would see up to 500 patients per day, averaging $35,000 per week. To keep the supply of painkillers, the Georges had to deceive the pharmaceutical suppliers. A conversation was recorded where George told an employee, “Remember, we’re lying about how many(clinic customers) are out of state. If you give them our real dispensing log it’s going to show that everybody’s from out of state.” [3]

The fall of the empire[edit]

As their empire grew, it attracted enemies both from within and without. Even their friends weren't safe. Jeff's roommate, Robert Eddy, was thought to have stolen $500,000 in clinic funds. The brothers had Eddy trapped in a house owned by Jeff, where they threatened him with guns, according to federal filings and testimonies. Eventually he was released unharmed, and Chris gave him $10,000 to keep quiet about what happened. [3]

Even after the incident, the brothers were still paranoid. Even their original mentor, dr. Overstreet, had a dispute with them over money. He left the clinics in 2009 and moved to Panama, and later died when his car fell off a cliff. There was no evidence suggesting that either Jeff or Chris had anything to do with his death.

It was in March 2010 where everything started to fall. After a very profitable February, their clinics and houses were raided by the DEA in early March. The agents emptied file cabinets and apprehended the millions of dollars in cash stored in their house's basement. Jeff displayed fortitude and restraint when questioned about the raid by a Palm Beach Post reporter. “It’s unfortunate for the patients that they have nowhere to go now. They are the ones that are really going to be affected the hardest by this.” - Jeff explained. [3]

Criminal Case[edit]

Federal Case[edit]

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, DEA and IRS on August 11, 2011, by a 123-page indictment after a 3-year investigation,[1] [4] called "Operation Oxy Alley",[2] indicated George, his twin brother Chris and 30 others on a RICO Conspiracy for drug trafficking, maintaining a drug premises, money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, conspiracy, murder-for-hire and mail-wire fraud.[18] [3] [19] [17] The federal government said this arrest and takedown shuts down the largest illegal pill distribution network in the United States,[20] [2] [18] that the George's profited over 40 million dollars from,[20] [21] giving pills to 67,000 patients across the country.[2] Also, the organization sold 34 millions units of steroids online and defrauded 4.7 million dollars from telemarketing timeshare scheme.[3] [17] The feds seized millions of dollars in cash and real estate, with an estimated remaining 25 million unaccounted for. [18] The clinics made 1 million dollars in a single week in February, 2010. [16]

George and his brother hired tattooed friends, strippers and bikini models to staff offices and dispense pills and polygraph tested them to see if they were working with the cops. [2] [16] [20] The doctors that worked for the pain clinics and carried guns under their coats were hired off of Craigslist. [16] [20] They were the top prescribers of oxycodone in the country, with Dr. Cynthia Cadet being the #1 in the country. [4] She was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for money laundering related to her employment at pill mills. [22]

Another doctor who ended up being convicted for murder was Dr. John Christensen. The death of Jason Fusco, by drug overdose, led to an investigation about who was prescribing these medications. The physician had prescribed Jason with 500 pills a month of oxycodone, Xanax, and methadone. Later it would be discovered that 35 of Christensen's patients had died after OD'ing with prescribed drugs. [23] The pain clinics had 53 overdoses to patients in Florida alone. In response, the Florida Governor Charlie Christ changed the law to stop pain clinics, by signing a bill that required pain clinics to register with the state, not allowing pain meds to be dispensed on-site and must be owned by a doctor. [1] [16] [20]

George is currently housed in a federal prison at FCC Coleman Medium just north of Orlando, with a release date set to 12/2025.[24]

Florida Case[edit]

George was indicted related to his federal case on August 11, 2011, by the State of Florida for second degree murder and drug trafficking charges based on a patient at East Coast Pain Clinic overdosing.[2] The patient was Joseph (Joey) Bartolucci, 24 year old from West Pam Beach who passed unexpectedly. [25] As investigations proceeded, authorities found out that on February, 2009, Joey went into the George brothers' East Coast Pain Clinic and purchased 150 Dilaudid painkiller pills and 30 Xanax pills, all in cash. Bartolucci would overdose only a few hours later.[26]

George's codefendant was Dr. Gerald Klein, 81. The doctor proceeded to trial and was not found guilty.[5] Prosecutors described Dr. Klein as a "money-hungry practitioner who partnered in a mostly cash-based clinic operations". This business model in which Dr. Klein was a part of is what killed Joey and many other patients of pill overdose.[27] George pled guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to traffic. At his sentencing hearing the State said Jeff was "sitting at the top of an empire of narcotics", and the judge sentenced him to the maximum sentence of 20 years and to run concurrent to his federal sentence.[1] [5]

Adaptations[edit]

  • Warner Bros Studios is developing a movie based on the true story of Jeff and Chris George's operation of the pill mills called American Pain.[28] [7]
  • Investigative Discovery Channel produced a show based on the George brother's pill mill operation called "Evil Twins", on season 3, episode 1. [8]
  • CNBC's American Greed produced an episode in 2016 called "Pain Killer Profits", based on the true story of the George Brothers.[9] [29]
  • History Channel produced a documentary series called "War on Drugs", with an episode called "Legal Pill Mills Ushered America's Opium Crisis", based on the true story of the George Brothers.[10]
  • Lyons Press published a book called "American Pain" by John Temple in 2015, based on the story of the largest pain clinic in America that the George brothers owned.[11]
  • Faber Publications published a book in 2018 called "America Overdose - The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts", which featured the George brothers in the third act.[30]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Laforgia, Michael (March 7, 2010). Twin Kingpins Behind Some Of The Most Brazen Pain Clinics in South Florida. The Palm Beach Post.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Laforgia, Michael (August 23, 2011). "Pain Clinic Kingpin Jeff George charged with Second Degree Murder". The Palm Beach Post.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Francis, Thomas (May 18, 2012). "Oxy Cowboys - The George Brothers Pill Mill Empire". Open.channel.msnbc.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 LaMendola, Bob (August 25, 2011). How the George Brothers Made Millions With Pill Mills. Sun Sentinel
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Freeman, Marc (December 2, 2015). Former Pill Mill King Gets 20 Years In Overdose Death Of West Palm Man. Sun Sentinel.
  6. McNary, Dave (November 19, 2014). "American Pain" movie by Warner Bros. Variety.com
  7. 7.0 7.1 news.avclub.com (November 20, 2014). "Warner Bros making movie about illegal painkillers"
  8. 8.0 8.1 iamb.com (2015). "Evil Twins" Documentary. Investigative Discovery (ID) channel.
  9. 9.0 9.1 American Greed (July, 1 2016). "Pain Killer Profits". CNBC.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "8 Times America`s War on Drugs Stranger Than Fiction - Legal Pill Mills Ushered America`s Opioid Crisis" (June, 19,2017). History Channel.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Temple, John (2015). American Pain. Lyons Press ISBN
  12. Faber Publishing 2018, "American Overdose - The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts", by Chris McGreal
  13. Miller, Kim (Jul 20, 2010). "Palm Beach County developer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition files for bankruptcy". The Palm Beach Post
  14. Braga, Michael (April 20, 2011). "Bank of America files to foreclose on Majestic Homes loan". Inside Real Estate.
  15. SI Staff (September 2, 2008). Two Jamaican Hurdlers Implicated In Steroid Ring. Sports Illustrated.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Linder, Joselin (September 13, 2015). "Twin Brothers Build Drug Empire With Help From Doctors and Strippers". New York Post.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Federal Court Docket (August 11, 2011). Indictment, United States v. Chris George et al, Case no:10-80149-CR-Marra-5 In
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Laforgia, Michael (October 22, 2010). Pain Clinic Brothers Subject of Racketeering Probe. The Palm Beach Post.
  19. Gillette, Felix (June 12, 2012). America Pain: The Largest U.S. Pill Mills Rise And Fall. Bloomberg Business Week.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Weiss, Jessica (August 26, 2015). Inside the deadliest south Florida pain clinic that doled out drugs to 700 patients a day. Miami New Times.
  21. Abad-Santos, Alexander (June 7, 2012). Meet the 40 Million Oxy Twins. The Atlantic.
  22. McMahon, Paula (Sep 07, 2016) "Pill-mill doctors must report to prison three years after money-laundering convictions ". Sun Sentinel.
  23. Fhammas, Brittany (Nov 28, 2017) "Many of Florida's Worst Pill Mill Doctors Have Gotten Off Easy in Court". Miami News Time
  24. Federal Bureau of Prisons (March 30, 2020). Inmate Locator Jeffrey George #97212-004. bop.gov
  25. Family-Placed Obituary (Mar 5, 209) "Joseph Stephen Bartolucci" Legacy
  26. Joseph, Chris (Dec 3, 2015). "Jeff George, Pill-Mill Kingpin, Gets 20 Years in Prison for Patient's Death" New Times
  27. Freeman, Marc (Aug 24,2015) "Death of pill mill patient focus of doctor's murder trial". Sun Sentinel
  28. McNary, Dave (November 19, 2014). "American Pain" movie by Warner Bros. Variety.com
  29. Staff writer (July 6, 2016) "American Greed to feature Wellington Pill Mill Bosses Jeff and Chris George". The Palm Beach Post.
  30. Faber Publishing 2018, "American Overdose - The Opiod Tragedy in Three Acts", by Chris McGreal

Added more info about Chris and the operation in general[edit]

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