“I don’t feel that it was fair what happened yesterday (Wednesday) in court,” Tracy Bias told the Daily Times in an exclusive interview at his home, “because the government did not honor their plea agreement.”
Bias said he had been offered a plea agreement in which he would testify in the case against Dublin, Ohio, attorney Steve Hillman, who represented several pain clinics. Bias said he was to receive a 10-year sentence as a result of that testimony, which he said he cooperated in.
“That (plea agreement) went out the door,” Bias said. “Why? I don’t know, because I did not lie to the prosecution. I thought I fulfilled my end of this agreement. My attorney’s also even feel that I fulfilled my agreement. But then it didn’t happen.”
Bias said he does not know all the details as to why the plea agreement was dropped.
“They (the court) feel basically that I did not fulfill my obligation because of something that was taken out of the plea agreement,” Bias said. “They feel that I shared this with Steve Hillman before this was taken out of the plea agreement which is wrong. I did not share that. They feel that Steve Hillman directed me how to answer. That is wrong. Steve Hillman has never directed me how to answer anything in court.”
Hillman is himself awaiting sentencing, and according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he has pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. Hillman told the Times Thursday he pleaded guilty to filing a late tax return in 2011, a misdemeanor.
Bias sighed, “It’s all just went bad from there.”
(Frank Lewis. "Bias Says 14-year Prison Sentence Is Unfair."
Portsmouth Daily Times. May 23, 2014)
Tracy Bias, 49, of West Portsmouth, Ohio, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 19, 2012 and pleaded guilty on June 7, 2013 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense a controlled substance.
Bias was sentenced to spend 168 months (14 years) in prison, serve another ten years under court supervision, and ordered to forfeit $6,348,000, an amount representing the proceeds of the pain clinics he operated for two years.
Between January 2009 and June 2011, Tracy Bias owned and operated Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth, Ohio and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus, Ohio. Six doctors involved with the clinics have either been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.
“Bias was a huge part of a greater pill tsunami into the Southern Ohio area,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy D. Oakley told the court prior to sentencing imposed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett. The “clinics were just a portion of the pill operations being run by felons and failed doctors in Southern Ohio.”
Of course, anyone reading these reports should understand the truth as told by Tracy Bias is questionable. After all, he is a felon who has already filed an appeal of his sentence. However, the words of the convicted felon do ring with understandings known to many who helped in the efforts to close Scioto County pill mills. Justice and equality make no sense.
Whatever the plea agreement made by Bias, the public must question the primary role of Steve Hillman, the Dublin attorney who represented many local "pain clinics." As a legal representative of these notorious enterprises and a staunch defender of the glut of dispensing opiates in an illegal manner, Hillman seems to be the "brains" of an extensive, corrupt operation to poison Southern Ohio.
Consider Hillman's role in defending the operations of Dr. Margy Temponeras whose pill mill operation was one of the biggest illegal distributors of opiates in the United States. Who can not believe that Attorney Hillman was one of the bandleaders orchestrating this health epidemic when he not only told lies about Temponeras and her Wheelersburg business but also told lies about his efforts to establish a "legal" operation under the name Physicians Pharmacy in Piketon? He continues to deny his major role in the greedy pill mill business.
In truth, Steven Hillman is a weasel lawyer, a master of perjury and deception who deserves stiff punishment for his own role in the scheme of making millions and dealing certain death to many innocent victims. That's right -- death. He remains indifferent and rich in his vaulted position.
So far, Hillman has only entered one 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. The IRS doesn't want its $115,000 back from a wealthy lawyer? This is sad American justice.
This is the man who threatened to sue me -- a citizen activist who led more than 10 pill mill protests all over the county and who established the Fix the Scioto County Problem of Drug Abuse Facebook group -- with a formal letter accusing me of being a liar who spread false accusations about his clients at the Scioto pain clinics. Hillman is a full-fledged criminal.
Spurred on by Hillman's defense, Darrell Leadingham, Temponeras's security guard and henchman, once made it a point to confront me on public property in Wheelersburg ranting and raving about the "legality" of her pill mill, and he also posted Hillman's private correspondence to me on his KD Dragway Internet site while claiming I had political motivation for my activism. I wonder how Leadingham got his copy of my letter? Can you spell "H-I-L-L-M-A-N"?
In all his self-righteous glory and greed, Leadingham continued to discredit my service as a teacher on local forums, accusing me of being everything from a madman to a child molester. Once, he even tried to lure me to confront him at his property in South Webster. And he also spread derogatory comments, some very racist, in print about my family, specifically about my grandchildren.
With his legal and monetary connections, I felt the man was openly threatening our lives. I took my displeasure and my proof to the Scioto County Sheriff's office where I was treated like a foolish little child for my bother of accusation. In fact, that office denied that Leadingham had once been a special deputy of their office. I was told this by sheriff's deputies who lied.
The threats? The sheriff's department told me that they received information about threats like this "all the time." And they were "not going to even talk with Leadingham." They advised me to "go home and forget it." They said he could "print and say anything he wished." That's "just the way it was." That day, I learned much about the blue shield and the politics that pervade Scioto County.
Why am I still pissed over my treatment by the Scioto County Sheriff's Department? Read this June 6, 2011 report from WSAZ TV by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy:
"In a press release, the DEA calls Dr. Margy Temponeras one of the largest dispensers of controlled substances in the United States.
Several people testified during Wednesday's hearing including Assistant Attorney General Tracy Greuel who told the board that Temponeras had a former employee of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office running her dispensary."There is a problem if any unlicensed healthcare professional can have complete access to drugs. It's not permitted by law," said Agent Kevin Kinnear.
The Sheriff’s Office has since clarified that the man in question was only a Volunteer Special Deputy from 1978-1997 under a former Sheriff."
I have never received an apology from the Sheriff. I don't really care any more. They will never silence my voice nor my writing. The games they play? I will leave the pill mill connections to you, but many of you already know the truth.
I Met Bias Once
I met Tracy Bias once at the county courthouse when Attorney Hillman unsuccessfully challenged Portsmouth ordinances on establishing new "pain clinics" within the city limits. I didn't know him from Adam, but I sensed his role and asked him if he was a clinic owner. He quietly admitted to me that he was. I explained why I believed his ownership was wrong and asked him to stop his practice. Of course, he was there to testify in defense of Hillman and his clinics, so he simply spurned my efforts of persuasion.
The conversation with Bias was no big deal that day, but now it seems like a fated meeting during which I had a major revelation: Bias was being manipulated with great skill for purposes other than just his own concerns. That day in court it was evident to a courtroom full of spectators that favors were being exchanged, stories were being told, and the mastermind behind the show was Steven Hillman, who, of course, was making millions thanks to illegal pill mill operations.
Make no mistake, I believe Tracy Bias is guilty of owning horrible criminal enterprises and guilty of knowing full-well the devastation he was causing. Believe me also, I take no joy whatsoever in knowing a man faces a long term of imprisonment. But, Bias had his day in court. Now, he must pay.
Yet, at the same time, I also believe Steven Hillman was at least equally responsible for Bias's culpability in the health epidemic my county still endures, and I also believe, Hillman is more responsible than Bias for the total devastation because he legally administered the matters of not only Bias but also Temponeras and other pill mill owners.
Should Steven Hillman's crime be punishable by a slap on the wrist: "up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $25,000 and a one-year term of supervised release"? This is truly laughable. It's time for all to come clean -- let people tell the full truth instead of spouting half-truths and stories of cover ups.
The system itself is corrupt. It favors the rich and cares little about true justice. Bias, himself, brought up his co-defendant, Bart Journey, who was the co-owner with him in the pain clinics.
“It’s all me that done all of this, but in reality, it was (Bart) Journey who done all of this,” Bias said. “He gets five years, I get 14. That’s the scales of justice.”
Tracy Bias and Bart Journey put themselves into their own predicaments. They both face the stiff sentences for their admitted crimes, sentences imposed by law. In this post, I am not taking pity upon Bias or Journey, but instead, I am revealing information the public needs to know about power, position, and money. And, I am trying to reveal information about exactly how they all work together to cause inequality and injustice.
This is not a system that levels the playing field for all plaintiffs or for all defendants. It sickens me to see the strong tentacles of a monstrous creation reach into local, state, and federal matters to control the continuation of slimy subordinates in its grip. Plea bargains, lies, threats, slanted judges, crooked lawyers -- all the content of dramatic, fictional Hollywood films -- corrode the reality of our legal and justice systems.
In this, the land of overdose deaths and horrendous substance abuse, it becomes more difficult to determine the truth each passing day. Perhaps, in this area, the truth means less than politics and greenbacks. Greed drives crime, and crime is essential for the employment of those in the justice system. Who pulls what strings to make it all run slowly and inefficiently? I guess we must keep on reading about those involved to find some much-needed answers.