A health care provider who illegally offered prescriptions for opioids that then have been bought all through the Irish Travelers’ Murphy Village space in Aiken County additionally pressured feminine sufferers to have intercourse with him.
That is what a prosecutor instructed a federal courtroom Monday as Dr. Fred Gilliard, 76, a basic apply physician specializing in habit remedy, pleaded responsible to illegally distributing oxycodone, a robust, addictive narcotic used as a painkiller.
To put collectively the case towards Gilliard, federal brokers gathered video, audio and recorded telephone-call proof, in addition to interviewing cooperating witnesses.
“Sir, is there something you disagree with within the authorities’s recitation of the details?” U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs requested Gilliard in a listening to on the U.S. courthouse in Columbia.
“No, ma’am,” answered Gilliard, who had come to courtroom in garb he shortly may alternate for a jail’s bounce go well with – darkish slacks, a button-down mild shirt with no tie, and white sneakers.
Gilliard’s most up-to-date unlawful actions – he beforehand served time in jail for unlawful distribution of medicine – have been uncovered final 12 months. Federal brokers, investigating a white-collar crime ring within the Travelers’ Murphy Village neighborhood, acquired a tip that a physician was dealing opioids to the Travelers.
The physician, whom brokers recognized as Gilliard, was offering Travelers with “prescriptions for opioids and different managed substances which have been then being bought all through Murphy Village,” prosecutor Jay Richardson instructed the decide.
According to Richardson, the investigation discovered:
▪ Several sufferers acquired prescriptions, together with for opioids, from Gilliard and bought the medicine in Murphy Village
▪ A “cooperating witness” purchased opioids from considered one of Gilliard’s sufferers, who then instructed brokers the physician typically “would proposition her for sexual favors in alternate for prescriptions and that he would contact her in any respect hours of the evening”
▪ Federal brokers reviewed Gilliard’s telephone information and located “an irregular sample of contacting his feminine sufferers”
▪ One witness recorded her telephone calls with Gilliard, who was recorded as “requesting sexual favors in alternate for prescriptions”
That witness, who was not recognized, then met with Gilliard at a Waffle House final June, off Exit 5 on I-20 in Aiken County.
At that assembly, Gilliard mentioned he would supply the witness with a prescription for hydrocodone, an opioid, however that the witness needed to have intercourse with him.
That assembly was recorded and have become a part of the proof that satisfied Gilliard to plead responsible.
According to information accounts, Gilliard, a 1968 graduate of the Medical University of Georgia, served a number of years in jail within the late 1990s after a federal jury convicted him of wide-ranging fraud in a Medicare billing scheme. In the 1980s, Gilliard served a number of years in jail after FBI brokers videotaped him dropping off a prescription narcotic to a Savannah lodge.
The drug crime that Gilliard pleaded responsible to Monday carries a most 20-year sentence and a $1 million fantastic.
In a day bond listening to, Gilliard’s legal professional, John Delgado of Columbia, begged Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett to let Gilliard keep out of jail, a minimum of till he may switch a handful of remaining sufferers to different docs.
“It can’t be mentioned that he’s a hazard to anybody besides himself,” Delgado instructed Gossett.
In his medical apply, Gilliard has helped drug addicts struggle their habit to opioids and “may be very dedicated to their well-being,” Delgado mentioned.
Defendants who’ve pleaded responsible to critical drug offenses will not be usually eligible for bond, Gossett replied, ruling Gilliard needed to stay in jail till he’s sentenced. “My arms are sort of tied on this. I’m required by legislation to detain Dr. Gilliard.”
Gilliard, who has a Georgia medical license, has been a physician in Evans, Ga., simply contained in the Georgia state line from South Carolina.
For a number of years, federal and native legislation brokers have been investigating against the law ring run out of the Travelers’ Murphy Village.
Some 50 Irish Travelers and their associates have been indicted, pleaded responsible and are awaiting sentencing.
However, the investigation is ongoing.
About 1,400 Irish Travelers, many associated by blood and marriage, stay in and round Murphy Village, an unincorporated space close to North Augusta. The group, identified for its closed methods and scams, is claimed to be descended from Irish immigrants who got here to the world within the 1850s.