ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Two people accused of running a pill mill in Orange County were sentenced to one year of probation after making plea deals with prosecutors.
Dr. Rica Bogdany and former pain clinic owner Vincent Goodwin pleaded no contest in court on Thursday to failure to create a record as required by Florida statute.
The two were arrested in May 2014 when agents raided a clinic, Pain Care Place, in Winter Garden.
Bogdany initially told investigators that Goodwin had been forcing her to write bogus prescriptions, but she was later arrested and accused of participating willingly.
"I'm taking care of the people who need to be taken care of in the margins that are not being cared for in the majority of medical practice," said Bogdany.
In exchange for the no contest pleas, the state dropped more serious counts of felony trafficking in oxycodone with which the two were originally charged.
"Ma'am, as to count three, failure to make a record as required by Florida Statute, a misdemeanor in the first-degree, what is your plea?” a judge asked.
“No Contest," Bogdany replied.
If Bogdany and Goodwin successfully complete their probation, their records will not show any type of criminal conviction connected to the alleged pill mill.
Prosecutors did not publicly address the reason for the plea bargains, but the judge in the case asked them to explain to her behind closed doors why they recommended such a lenient sentence.
Documents from 2014 show that during a two-day period, Bogdany prescribed nearly 9,000 pills to patients whose files and faces she never saw.
"The state had substantial evidentiary problems in order to offer this sweetheart deal. They were lucky to have gotten anything out of this case," WFTV Legal Analyst Bill Sheaffer said.
No information was immediately available on what kind of effect, if any, the no contest plea will have on Bogdany’s medical license.