Pain clinic owner pleads guilty

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

CINCINNATI — A Paintsville, Ky., man will find out March 26 how many years he will spend in prison, if any, for his part in the operation of pill mills in Hanging Rock and three other southern Ohio communities.

Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said William H. Jewell, 64, pleaded guilty last week to one count of money laundering in connection with the operation of those pain clinics. Jewell entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati before Judge S. Arthur Spiegel.

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea, Jewell admitted that beginning in January 2001, Jewell scheme to open a pain clinic in southern Ohio and pass out pain medications. His plan was to fill prescriptions for drugs other than Oxycontin, knowing this particular drug was coming under the scrutiny of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. He leased a building and recruited doctors to staff the clinic. The patients were required to pay in cash for their Loracet and Xanax. Jewell split the money with the doctors and then laundered his monies to hide his dealings from authorities.

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The investigation into Jewell’s pain clinics involved the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office as well as numerous other federal government agencies.

One of the doctors who worked at Jewell’s pain clinics, Gregory Ebner, 55, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty to his part in the pill mill operation last year and was sentenced in January to 24 months in prison.

Jewell could face 20 years in prison.