'Pill Mill' Defendants Get Bond
All five charged in connection with the medical facility authorities allege was a front for drug distribution were granted bond.
Despite the prosecuting attorney's argument that at least two of the people charged in an alleged "pill mill" at Atlanta Medical Group are flight risks, federal Magistrate Judge Walter Johnson granted three bond yesterday, Rome News-Tribune reported here.
Jason Cole Votrobek, 27, and Jesse Violante, 22, both of Vero Beach, FL, who owned the clinic, and Roland Rafael Castellanos, 32, of Cartersville, who directed clinic operations, were granted $50,000 bonds, according to the newspaper.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hulsey argued Votrobek and Violante "had no incentive not to run," citing authorities have no way of knowing if all their assets were seized, the newspaper reported.
Hulsey said Votrobek's mother, Cheryl Votrobek, helped her son hide $40,000 and was heard on wire taps taking instructions from Jason Votrobek to do so. She admitted to the assistance, according to Rome News-Tribune.
Cheryl Votrobek used her house as collateral to get her son out of jail. Jason Votrobek had allegedly been involved in a separate "pill mill" operation, Hulsey said, according to the newspaper.
Castellanos' family put up Florida property for his release on bond. It's unclear if Violante has been released.
In federal court in Macon last week, the clinic's primary doctor, 61-year-old James Chapman of Macon, was given a $20,000 bond, a condition of which is that he not practice medicine until authorized by the court.
Tara Atkins, 33, of Cartersville, who managed the clinic, also was granted bond last week and released. The defendants pleaded not guilty to drug distribution and money laundering charges.
Read more about the case here, here and here. The five are accused of conspiring to sell oxycodone, a powerful pain killer, at substantially marked-up prices in an illegitimate medical practice. Prosecutors say the group not only used the profits to continue the business, but also benefited from the operation, which netted millions.