The Carthage clinic operated by Ms. Neil and her husband, the late Dr. John Freitas, became known as "the candy store" because of the easy availability of powerful prescription drugs, according to the original indictment.
The plea came as a result of an agreement in which 22 of the 24 counts against Ms. Neil were dropped. Under the agreement, which was entered during a 12-minute session this morning, Ms. Neil admitted to conspiring to distribute phentermine and the money laundering charge. The crimes she pleaded guilty were described this way in the plea agreement filed with the court:
On or about 2005, Defendant and her deceased husband, Dr. John Freitas, opened the Complete Quick Care Clinic in Carthage, Missouri. There were two distinct aspects to the Clinic. Dr. Freitas was primarily in charge of the health care aspects of the clinic, while Defendant managed the day to day operations of the clinic and ran the weight loss side of the clinic. As a part of the weight loss clinic, Defendant was responsible for seeing more than half of all the clinic patients every day.
Defendant directed her employees to weigh the patient, chart the weight, and then sell phentermine to the patient as part of the weight loss protocol. Phentermine is an amphetamine-based controlled substance often used to assist in weight loss.
As a licensed counselor, Defendant was not authorized to prescribe or dispense any controlled substance, including phentermine. Therefore, her patients received phentermine outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Defendant used the proceeds of her phentermine sales to purchase the property listed in Forfeiture Allegation One of the indictment.
The Complete Quick Care Clinic did not accept Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. Most of the patients paid in cash, including cash payments for controlled substances such as phentermine. Between 2005 and 2008, Freitas and Defendant deposited $1,568,793.50 in cash into several bank accounts.
The $200,000 in United States currency which the defendant agrees to forfeit in Forfeiture Allegation One is derived from the $1,568,793.50 in illegal proceeds of defendant’s criminal activity. Defendant then purchased various vehicles, homes, and an airplane by making payments for the property with clinic proceeds in amounts greater than $10,000. These properties include: (1) a 2007 Jaguar VIN #SADJA44B875B03377; (2) $10,000 cash which is a substitute asset for a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, VIN #1GYFK63878R229897; and (3) a 1966 Piper Airplane, Model PA-28-180, FAA Reg. #9295J,
all of which the defendant agrees to forfeit to the United States pursuant to Forfeiture Allegation
Two of the Indictment.
The plea agreement comes just a few months after the government has announced its intention to introduce evidence showing that Dr. Freitas and Ms. Neil had been hit with a 30-count indictment in Nevada, alleging similar drug-related crimes. They pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges in that case.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.