ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Three family members have been arrested and are facing multiple charges for their involvement in an elaborate pill mill operation in Pensacola.
Dr. William Wilson, 68, Beverly Wilson, 66, and James Wilson, 48, were arrested on Tuesday on multiple charges related to operating a pill mill. James Wilson was arrested in Pensacola; William and Beverly Wilson were arrested in Norfolk, Virginia. The arrests were made by agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), with the assistance of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, the Norfolk (Virginia) Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The investigation began in 2019, based on pharmacist and citizen complaints that Dr. Wilson and the Wilson Family Medical Center was operating as an unlicensed pain management clinic for financial gain and negligently prescribing dangerous narcotic combinations.
On Sept. 11, 2019, agents executed the first of two search warrants and seized significant evidence. Dr. William Wilson also relinquished his DEA registration that allowed him to prescribe controlled substances. The investigation continued and evidence was analyzed. The analysis included file reviews by a certified expert physician with an expertise in interventional pain management, who found that all of the charts he reviewed revealed patients were prescribed controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.
The investigation found the Wilson Family Medical Center double-billed clients for cash and insurance, without clinical notes or exams, and clients routinely received controlled substance prescriptions without seeing Dr. Wilson.
Agents provided the expert physician the chart of an 18-year-old male who visited the clinic at least 10 times, receiving controlled substances each visit. There were no notes in his chart indicating the reason for the prescriptions. On April 26, 2018, he received a prescription for oxycodone and was found dead on April 27. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as oxycodone toxicity.
The investigation found the Wilson Family Medical Center fraudulently billed Blue Cross Blue Shield for a total of $1,862,000 and received $500,000.
“As in all professions, the majority of physicians do the right thing,” said Chris Williams, FDLE Pensacola Special Agent in Charge, in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “From time to time, a physician does not live out the Hippocratic Oath and FDLE appreciates the help of our law enforcement partners and members of our community in working together to stop them from hurting our citizens, and hold them accountable.”
Watch the full press conference in the video below:
William Wilson, Beverly Wilson and James Wilson were each charged with conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone (100 grams/30 kilograms), unlawful use of a two-way communications device, culpable negligence inflicting actual injury and scheme to defraud. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.
James Wilson was booked into the Escambia County Jail this morning on $136,000 bond. William and Beverly Wilson are being held pending extradition at the Norfolk City Jail. The Office of the State Attorney, First Judicial Circuit, will prosecute this case.