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Wednesday 21, Oct 2009

  Colorado businessman pleads guilty to steroid and money laundering charges

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Colorado businessman pleads guilty to steroid and money laundering chargesJames A. Abernathy, a Colorado businessman recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering last week.

Abernathy’s case was a part of yearlong running investigations on a dozen defendants with similar charges. Abernathy was the first to plead guilty in the group.

He faced trial in Mobile, Alabama with eleven other as a result of the investigations on Applied Pharmacy Services.

The pharmacy was based in Mobile, Alabama and was alleged to have sold and distributed numerous types of anabolic steroids to customers all over United States. Thousands of doses have been reportedly sold since its operations started.

Aside from pleading guilty, the businessman also agreed to surrender the money used to facilitate the conspiracy, along with $5,000 drug proceeds.

In exchange, Abernathy’s lawyers negotiated a plea bargain that state prosecutors would agree to a shorter prison term for their client based on the advisory sentencing guidelines.

Additionally, if state prosecutors come to the decision that he has provided “substantial assistance”, then his punishments could be further lowered.

“Substantial assistance” usually includes an offer to testify against other co-defendants.

Tuesday 03, Feb 2009

  GREELY DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY AS CHARGED

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pharmacy_steroidsThe name Applied Pharmacy Services is not new to local news. The Mobile-based online pharmacy was found to be illegally marketing anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs over the internet. They had sold over a thousand doses of steroids to several individuals throughout the United States. Some of the steroids prescribed and dispensed are for veterinary use only, and some of the clients that the pharmacy sold to were less than 21 years old.

Among the 12 arrested, six pleaded not guilty to illegal distribution of steroids and improper prescription. The six were Samuel Kelley, the president and CEO of APS, Jason Kelly, a part-owner of the pharmacy, and 4 steroid dealers who recruited registered physicians. Three doctors have also been identified to have participated in the conspiracy. Only one among the arrested has pleaded guilty.

Corliss has agreed to return $12,000 he had received during his work. He will be paying a fine of more than a quarter of a million dollars, and will be serving some jail time of three years.

Tuesday 27, Jan 2009

  APPLIED PHARMACY SERVICES IDENTIFIED TO BE ILLEGAL STEROID DEALERS

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steroidsThe federal grand jury of the U.S. District Court in Mobile, Alabama has charged members of Applied Pharmacy Services Inc. (APS) with illegal prescription and distribution of anabolic steroids. There were twelve individuals involved including the owners, Samuel Kelley, Jason Kelley and Jodi Silvio, four pharmacists and 5 other individuals who helped with the operation. According to the court documents, APS operated in at least 10 states.

The pharmacists involved were apparently prescribing and selling steroids that are used by veterinaries to human buyers. The public got hold of the APS through their internet campaign, advertisements, and local gyms and through snow-balling through their contacts. They sold cocktail anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin. When asked if there were any sports figure that served as a client, the assistant US attorney handling the case didn’t comment. She mentioned, however, that some of the clients were teenagers. This would pose a heavier sentence for the group since selling steroids and illegal drugs to individuals less than 21 mean 10 years imprisonment. Usually, a sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 are given to cases like this.

Wednesday 03, Sep 2008

  Doctor pleads guilty in steroid case

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doctor-steroidsDavid Wilbirt, a Scottsdale physician, could face up to 25 years in prison due to steroid-related charges.

According to ABC15 report, Wilbirt and his fiancée, Candace Toler, pleaded guilty Friday to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to illegally dispense and distribute anabolic steroids.

The doctor, however, could get reduced prison time as he agreed to cooperate with authorities in their investigation relating to Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile, Alabama.

According to published reports, during the period of November 2004 to April 2005, Wilbirt dispensed 3,879 prescriptions for controlled substances — more than any other physician in the state, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration’s search warrant affidavit.

When the DEA agents raided Wilbirt’s home and his office they seized incriminating evidence. There were patient files, a computer, more than $40,000 in cash, $29,000 in gold and silver bullion, several pills, vials and syringes of testosterone, human growth hormones and other prescription drugs, plus three bags of marijuana, according to the affidavit. Agents also recovered other documents including prescriptions, correspondence from customers and requests for prescriptions from the Internet.

So far six people have entered guilty pleas, including Wilbirt and his fiancée, Candace Toler.

According to documents obtained by ABC15, the DEA raided Wilbirt’s Scottsdale offices back in June of 2005.

The documents, which were sealed until ABC15 went to court, reveal agents with the DEA “seized copies of the medical records for patients that Dr. Wilbirt illegally distributed dangerous drugs and human growth hormone to.”

When asked three months ago about the ongoing federal investigation, Wilbirt told ABC15‘s Josh Bernstein, “I don’t want to comment on that.”

But this is not the first time Wilbirt’s been in trouble.

The Arizona Medical Board issued letters of reprimand to Wilbirt on two separate occasions.

The first letter, back in 1996, was for unprofessional conduct related to failure to maintain adequate patient records and making false or fraudulent statements.

The second letter, in 1998, was also for unprofessional conduct, this time related to prescribing, dispensing or administering controlled substances for other than accepted therapeutic purposes and failure to maintain adequate records.

The Arizona Medical Board revoked Wilbirt’s license in March of 2008 for inappropriate prescribing and violating a board order for continuing to prescribe controlled substances after signing an agreement prohibiting him from engaging in the practice of medicine.

So far no charges have been filed against any employees or owners of Applied Pharmacy Services.

Applied Pharmacy Services is one of the pharmacies that had figured in the grand jury investigation in the rampant sale of illegal performance-enhancing drugs over the Internet. The PEDs included anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

The pharmacy was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report, the fruition U.S. Sen. George Mitchell’s 20-month long investigation of PED use in the Major League. Applied Pharmacy Services was reportedly the source of performance boosters of several pro baseball players, including former Braves closer, John Rocker and former Philies third baseman, David Bell.

In May this year, two doctors linked with Applied Pharmacy Services had also pleaded guilty to federal charges of illegal distribution of anabolic steroids.

Dr. Kelly W. Tucker of Greeley, Colo., pleaded guilty to dispensing anabolic steroids outside the course of professional practice. Dr. Pamela Pyle, a Myrtle Beach, S.C., osteopath, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony for withholding information about illegal steroid prescriptions. Their sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 4.

In January, two doctors who had been practicing in the Greeley area also had entered guilty pleas. Dr. Scott A. Corliss pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and has sentencing set for Oct. 29; and Dr. Kenneth M. Olds entered his guilty plea on June 6 to the same charge as Tucker.