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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Crime & Courts

One by one, pain clinic docs, operators pleading guilty

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— The 1910 Medical Clinic was a busy place that drew crowds of mostly out-of-state “patients” who paid cash for pain pill cocktail prescriptions.

Doctors were paid cash bonuses based on the number of clients they saw, and the clinic moved locations repeatedly to stay ahead of law enforcement, according to federal court records.

Flush with cash, the clinic operators laundered proceeds, making numerous bank deposits of just under $10,000, trying not to get the attention of financial regulators, according to federal court records. In a single year, they spent more than $100,000 in advertising and job postings.

The clinics saw as many as 100 patients per day, largely from Kentucky, and hired security guards to deter drug dealing or use on clinic grounds.

Ultimately, the clinic operators and three doctors were arrested, and one by one, defendants have begun pleading guilty to federal charges.

Wednesday, John Buster Quick, a 77-year-old physician, is scheduled to plead guilty to a federal drug charge that carries a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars. Clinic operators Warren Gold, 56, and his wife, Iagoul Iplaeva Gold, 37, of Lutz have already entered guilty pleas, according to federal court records. Another doctor - John Allen Lanning, 79, of Anna Maria - also has pleaded guilty.

The Golds and Lanning have sentencing dates in September.

Among the other defendants is Iagoul Gold’s mother, Rimma Anasovna Mamleeva, 60, of Wesley Chapel, who is described in the indictment as a clinic employee and has not pleaded guilty.

The clinic has operated at various addresses under different names in Tampa, Bradenton, Ellenton and Lakeland, according to a federal indictment.

In addition to being called the 1910 Medical Clinic, for its first address at 1910 Manatee Ave. in West Bradenton, the clinic has also been known as Devine Health Center, Pain Evaluation and Care Clinic and Habana Spine and Medical Clinic, the indictment states.

According to Warren Gold’s plea agreement, the Golds knew many of the clinic’s patients were not legitimate pain patients but were seeking the drugs because they were addicts or wanted to sell them to other addicts or drug dealers.

“To exploit that end,” the signed plea agreement states, “the clinic was designed to collect as much cash as possible from each patient, including through periodic price increases, late fees and other contingent costs.”

After their Florida clinics were closed in December 2010, the Golds continued to operate clinics in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, according to court records.

Quick’s medical license is listed as “free and clear” on the Florida Department of Health website, which says there are no disciplinary actions against him.

esilvestrini@tampatrib.com

813-259-7837

Twitter: @ElaineTBO.

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