Doctors at the clinics wrote prescriptions for some 18 million oxycodone doses between 2008 and 2010, raking in approximately $40 million, prosecutors say.
Twenty-eight people associated with the clinics have already pleaded guilty, including nine doctors and the twin brothers who operated the pain clinics, Chris and Jeff George, 32. Chris George is serving more than 17 years in prison. Jeff George is serving more than 15 years in prison.
Cadet and Castronuovo say prosecutors unfairly targeted them, adding the nine overdose charges because they refused to plead guilty like their former coworkers.
"(Cadet was) dragged into this case by a dragnet investigation," Weinstein told the jury.
In 2009, Cadet and three other physicians at American Pain were ranked among the top nine purchasers of oxycodone in the U.S., according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's controlled substances monitoring system. At that time, Florida law allowed doctors to order and dispense controlled substances, instead of writing prescriptions to be filled elsewhere.
Prosecutors say Cadet prescribed approximately 2.5 million oxycodone pills and Castronuovo approximately 750,000. But Cadet's lawyer said those numbers don't mean the doctor was guilty.
"The government will never prove that Dr. Cadet knew about this conspiracy," Weinstein said. "They're saying she should have known. But there's not one piece of evidence that shows she was complicit in this conspiracy."
Prosecutors say the clinics' wild success prompted a mad rush of Florida pill mills that attempted to copy the Georges' business and marketing practices.
The George clinics were raided and shut down in 2010.
Investigators cross-referenced the George clinics' patient records with death records in Florida and other states and discovered that hundreds of former patients had overdosed. In previous hearings, they said the nine deaths are the ones that could be most directly linked with Cadet and Castronuovo.
The indictment provides no information about the alleged victims' ages, hometowns or places of death. But public records indicate that one patient of Cadet's was from Boone County and died in 2010. Other alleged victims appear to have been from Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida.
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