Associated Press Published

Doctor in Pill Mill Case Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Hydrocodone pills

A West Virginia doctor has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge related to pain pills he prescribed.

Prosecutors say 64-year-old Dr. John Pellegrini of Huntington entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Beckley.

Pellegrini worked at the Beckley location of Hope Clinic from November 2010 through October 31, 2012.
Prosecutors say he admitted many of the prescriptions he wrote weren’t for legitimate medical purposes and that his interactions and exams of patients were brief or nonexistent.  Pellegrini also admitted receiving bonuses based on the number of paying customers.

In February, federal prosecutors charged numerous doctors, owners and managers associated with Hope Clinic with overprescribing pain pills at its locations throughout West Virginia and in Wytheville, Virginia.
Pellegrini faces up to 20 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.