Bucks County Doctor Pleads Guilty to Running Northeast Philadelphia Pill Mill

PHILADELPHIA—Christopher Vassalluzzo, D.O., 47, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to participating in a conspiracy to operate an office that was, in fact, a “pill mill” that distributed millions of prescription controlled substance diet drugs outside a professional practice. Vassalluzzo’s office, where he had others operate the pill mill while he worked at local hospitals, was located at 3000 Holme Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.

In addition to the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances charge, Vassalluzzo pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, structuring, aggravated structuring, conspiracy to commit tax evasion, and tax evasion. Vassalluzzo was distributing prescription controlled substance diet drugs outside a professional practice. This illegal enterprise generated more than five million dollars in cash. In addition to admitting his guilt, Vassalluzzo has agreed to forfeit a beach home in New Jersey, a timeshare in Florida, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Vassalluzzo will be formally sentenced on July 12, 2011 by U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody and faces 34 months in prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Pamela Foa.