Local pharmacist agrees to civil settlement linked to allegations of unlawful dispensation of controlled substances

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) –  Willie C. “Billy” Conley, Jr., 68, of Pembroke, Ga., agreed to settle claims that he and his pharmacy unlawfully dispensed controlled substances.

Conley will pay $275,000 to resolve allegations his pharmacy in Bryan County unlawfully dispensed controlled substances despite the presence of red flags indicating that the prescriptions, written by a convicted pill-mill doctor, were not issued for legitimate medical reasons.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says the allegations against Conley relate to prescriptions written by Dr. Frank Bynes Jr., who in February 2020 was convicted and sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment on numerous counts of health care fraud and unlawfully dispensing controlled substances. 

The DOJ says the settlement resolves allegations that Conley and his pharmacy violated their corresponding responsibility to fill only legitimate prescriptions and that they submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for a highly dangerous combination of controlled substances, called the “holy trinity,” consisting of  overlapping opioid, benzodiazepine, and carisoprodol frequently prescribed by Dr. Bynes.

The DOJ says the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

“Filling medically unnecessary controlled substance prescriptions harms Georgia citizens and the Georgia Medicaid program and is wrong,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “We will continue to work diligently to hold accountable those that harm our state and will use all available resources, including the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act, to remedy this harm and safeguard our communities.”

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