Thanks to their network of oxycodone-dispensing pain clinics, Christopher and Jeffrey George amassed $40 million in cash in just over two years, and came close to avoiding a federal indictment despite their 56 overdosed customers.
The Georges' story has actually been floating around for a while since receiving their 123-page indictment with charges ranging from murder to racketeering last year, but Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Felix Gillette's profile of the brothers and their schemes shows how they became the largest illegal dispensers of oxydcodone in the country. The story is eye-opening in the sense of how freaking easy it was for these two to make all that money. All they had to do was find doctors willing to prescribe oxy for any kind of pain, avoid name-brands like Percocets and Oxycontin, go crazy with prescriptions (the Georges literally gave their doctors stamps to get through patients' prescriptions faster), watch people get addicted, and have everyone pay cash. All that was left was counting the money.
And they almost got away with it, unfortunately they were betrayed by having too good of umm... "a work ethic" (their words, not ours). Per Gillette:
“People ask me why I didn’t get out when I made all that money,” he says during a telephone interview from prison in Atlanta. “I had multiple lawyers telling me that I was OK. I really didn’t feel like I was going to get in trouble for it. We opened two offices in Georgia. I was opening one in Missouri and one in Texas also. I was expanding.”
He says he never considered giving it up. “People don’t just suddenly stop doing something they are doing really well at,” says George. “I liked the work. I liked the challenge of it.”
Don't get any ideas, but head on over to Bloomberg BusinessWeek for the full story.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.