Steven E. Hillman, the Dublin, Ohio, attorney long associated with several pain clinics in the area has changed his plea in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. According to a spokeswoman in the Cincinnati office of U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart, Steve Hillman entered a guilty plea to failure to file income tax. Hillman reportedly failed to file federal income tax returns for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 income tax years.
According to court documents, Hillman has been the sole proprietor of his law firm since 2008. As an attorney, Hillman earned income from insurance settlement contingent fees, retainer fees, sublease rental payments and wages. Despite earning gross income in excess of the threshold amount which triggers the requirement to file a federal income tax return, Hillman willfully failed to file tax returns which resulted in a total tax loss to the IRS of approximately $114,942.19.
The crime is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $25,000 and a one-year term of supervised release. Judge Michael R. Barrett will schedule a date for sentencing.
Hillman had been part of a case titled USA vs. Bias et al. The other two people in that case, Tracy Bias and Bart Journey, both pleaded guilty to charges and were sentenced.
Hillman first became known in Scioto County as the attorney for Wheelersburg physician Margie Temponeras who operated a pain clinic in that community. It, like 10 others, was eventually closed down. Then, it became known he was involved in other pain clinics including two in Portsmouth. Hillman also tried to open a pharmacy in Piketon, but that venture never got off the ground, and the building where the pharmacy was to be located is back in the hands of the previous owners.
(Frank Lewis. "Hillman Pleads Guilty on Income Tax Charges."
Portsmouth Daily Times. March 12, 2014)
Hillman accepts full responsibility for failing to pay the taxes, his attorney, Robert Krapenc, said. In comparison to the drug and money laundering charges he went to trial for, the count of tax evasion "more accurately reflects any criminal responsibility on behalf of Mr. Hillman," Krapenc said.
The original charges against Steven Hillman of suburban Columbus were part of a 2013 indictment against eight individuals that alleged dozens of customers a week would travel hundreds of miles to visit clinics in southern and central Ohio and pay $200 per visit for painkillers.
The indictment said prescriptions were written without meaningful physical exams and contributed to the deaths of at least two patients.
Hillman, 68, had been charged with illegal distribution of painkillers and trying to launder $133,000 earned through the illegal distribution of drugs.
Let's reconsider the Hillman's penalty of a fine of up to $25,000 and a one-year term of supervised release. He has caused terrible havoc for many years. Reports include the following:
(1) Failing to file income taxes for three years and a total tax loss to the IRS of approximately $114,942.19
(2) Illegally distributing painkillers through his association with Scioto County pill mills
(3) Knowingly contributing to the growth of numerous pill mills and a health epidemic by providing bogus legal representation to criminal enterprises
(4) Laundering $133,000 earned through illegal distribution of drugs
(5) Attempting to open a business he owned known as Physicians Pharmacy, a potentially lucrative and deceptive "smokescreen" for the distribution of opiates in Southern Ohio
(6) Contributing to the death of at least two patients of local pill mills
I can give you some personal background on Attorney Hillman and his past.
Steven Hillman threatened me with lawsuits for actively pursuing the end of illegal pill mills. He warned me to stop "spreading rumors" about these facilities. One of his henchmen and Margie Temponeras' security guard, Darrell Leadingham, actually posted a copy of Hillman's correspondence to me on his dragway business website. While sporting a holstered gun on his hip, he told everyone I was insane and mounted a campaign against me.
Leadingham also e-mailed me a threatening message on April 27, 2010 saying, and I quote: "You are saying a lot of lies about Dr. Temponeras... All lies. You should get your facts right before you liable somebody by calling them a pill mill." He later challenged me to come to face him "mano e mano" at his house. He, a health official, publicly accused me of being insane and committing criminal acts.
Hillman and Leadingham actually slandered me with their actions. They threatened me; they belittled my family; and they did everything possible to ruin my life. Once when he was attempting to open Physician's Pharmacy, Hillman told me face-to-face that I was "a big pain in his ass." He made that comment in front of Piketon Village Council at the tour of the pharmacy.
I reported the abuse to local authorities, who, of course, did nothing about it. Their response was that "it goes with the territory" when you become an activist. I found out that Leadingham had been a special deputy in Scioto County -- which the department also denied. In truth, the department viewed me as a threat to the Blue Shield they operate. I soon learned that public opinion meant little to enforcement in a county ripe with internal corruption. They often practice indifference just to appease their own.
Despite the pressures against me and my family, a devoted group of citizens continued to protest pill mills while holding over ten demonstrations throughout the county. We braved intimidation and public disbelief to draw needed attention to the problem. Then, we became known as "people trying to give Scioto County a black eye" when the national media picked up on the "misery" of the epidemic without ever giving kudos to our little band of "troublemakers." In fact, some local media continue to criticize our efforts.
Today, also, some locals see us as the reason heroin is here. Other friends in the struggle know they have used us to promote their own political desires. Personally, I am done with politics and the "game" of choosing who to back. I value my freedom and my liberty of writing too much to continue to be a pawn. I work for no one who sees me as a "nut case" and a "problem."
I don't fear Hillman, Leadingham, local high connections to money and power, or public disapproval. I have done what I consider best. Contracts and threats don't bother me. Yet, I have lost trust in some very important institutions. I fear they are the real threat. Today, I have seen solid evidence of my reasoning.
I am angry. I am incensed by the courts. I think I am entitled to say, "What the fuck?" Do you blame me? Review all of the destruction caused by Attorney Hillman and consider the possible sentence: $25,000 and a one-year term of supervised release. He has caused irreparable damage to my county and to my beloved home. So many local mothers, fathers, families, and friends feel the stings of his deadly business every day of their lives. This is NOT justice. It is criminal negligence by the court system. I despise the negotiations and deals courts make with those who will continue to harm us all.
Steven Hillman is all about greed and the love of money, BIG MONEY -- just like Temponeras, Leadingham, Bias, and Journey. There is one huge difference in Hillman though: he is supposed to represent equality and justice as a lawyer. The known hypocrisy makes me wretch. To say he is "getting off easy" is the height of understatement. He has been the brains and legal punch behind the opiate health epidemic. He has no remorse, believe me.
Consider the inequity of judgment. Hillman laundered $133,000 and he owed the IRS $114,942.19. Now, he is responsible for $25,000? What if you or I were a known criminal and owed the IRS this fortune? What would be our punishment? The system itself is corrupt. It favors the rich and cares little about true justice.
I expect to hear from Hillman when this is all over. Do you think he will be gloating in his finagling success? I do. And, do you think local enforcement, the courts, the DEA, the IRS, or the politicians will ensure the safety of me and mine as his corruption continues? Believe me, I have been used and put to pasture in a place that offers no protection.
If you read this, and I offended you or if you read this, and you don't believe the print, I really don't care. I, better than you, know my own convictions. The trouble is that I cherish the right to protest and reveal conditions I believe strangle our very existence. I am vocal. I'm not asking you to join me. I am asking you to investigate for yourself.
Hillman accepts "full responsibility for failing to pay his taxes" say Attorney Krapenc. Maybe we should define the word full as it applies to this case. Full is defined as "complete especially in detail, number, or duration." In regard to restitution, you must laugh to keep from crying. The only thing these proceedings is full of is shit. Let me define that word for you. Shit is "a highly offensive term for human or animal excrement." In this case, the offensiveness applies. I believe I am only telling it like it is. I rest my case and await the verdict.
Empty Physicians Pharmacy in Piketon