Scott County

Former owner of pain clinics in Georgetown, Dry Ridge arrested on pill-mill charges

The former owner of pain clinics in Georgetown and Dry Ridge was arrested Monday after a federal indictment was unsealed accusing him of distributing prescription drugs illegally, officials said.

Ernest William Singleton, 44, was arrested in Springfield, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Singleton's businesses are Double D Holdings LLC and S&R Medical Enterprises LLC, which previously did business under the names Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management at Georgetown and Grant County Wellness Clinic at Dry Ridge. He and the businesses are charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to launder money from October 2010 until this month, the news release said.

The federal government is seeking forfeiture of farm land, vehicles, businesses and other property that were purchased with allegedly illegal profits or used to facilitate the alleged crimes, according to the news release.

Search warrants were executed Monday in several places, including a Georgetown pharmacy co-owned by Singleton and two homes in Springfield and Lawrenceburg, according to a statement from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, whose office was involved in the investigation.

"Illegal pill mills have fueled the prescription drug epidemic in Kentucky that now kills more people than traffic accidents," Conway said in a statement.

He said Singleton closed his pain-management centers in Kentucky and opened a center in Jeffersonville, Ind., a suburb of Louisville, after the implementation of Kentucky House Bill 1, which requires that owners of pain-management clinics be licensed physicians.

No physicians were named in the indictment against Singleton, but the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure took disciplinary action against five doctors affiliated with Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management Center and Grant County Wellness Clinic, Conway's statement said.

Two have agreed to indefinite practice restrictions and must pay $10,000 fines for violating the Medical Practice Act, and one physician remains suspended pending final action by the board, the statement said.

A federal grand jury in Lexington returned the sealed indictment Thursday, according to the U.S. District Attorney's news release.

If convicted, Singleton could face up to 20 years in prison on each count, the news release said.