Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Pill Mill Doctor
A South Florida doctor is dealing with the possibility of facing the rest of her life behind bars. She could be charged in connection with the deaths of 10 patients. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN -- 41-year-old Dr. Cynthia Cadet (on the left) maintains she is an innocent person. She is facing charges in connection with her work at American Pain- one of the biggest pill mills in the country. It operated from several locations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties and took in so much money, cash was kept in garbage bags.
Cadet is accused of ordering almost 900,000 oxycodone pills in 20 months.
She was arrested last year, along with 32 Pain clinic owners, operators and doctors.
The government charges between all of them; they put 20 million highly addictive oxycodone pills into circulation, raking in $40 million.
Almost all of those arrested have admitted guilt. But Cadet says she will not.
Carmel Cafiero: "Why are you still fighting?"
Dr. Cynthia Cadet, Pill Mill Physician: "I'm fighting to prove my truth which is I am innocent of these charges."
Even before she was arrested, Cadet was stripped of her ability to write prescriptions for controlled substances. An expert reviewed her patient files and reported her patients were "revenue streams", not true patients, that her prescribing of oxycodone and Xanax likely caused "increased drug abuse, drug addiction and drug overdoses," and if she were to continue prescribing she would be a "threat to the public."
Carmel Cafiero: "Can you at least tell me if you are concerned that any of the pills you handed out had anything to do with deaths?"
The parkland physician never answered. She was smiling when she went into federal court for what she expected to be a brief hearing to set her trial date. But there were no smiles when she came out after learning the federal government plans to significantly add to the charges against her.
Carmel Cafiero: "Dr. Cadet, the government just announced it is going to charge you with causing 10 deaths, how do you respond?
Richard Merlino, Jr., Attorney: "She maintains her innocence."
Dr. Cynthia Cadet: "But I am innocent."
Carmel Cafiero: "Ten deaths counselor, that's pretty significant."
Richard Merlino Jr.: "It is very significant. It carries with it a life penalty at sentencing if convicted as charged."
No other Florida Pain Clinic doctor has been accused of being involved in such a large number of deaths. Deaths, authorities say, were the result of the pill mill epidemic that started here in South Florida and spread nationwide.
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