Springville couple sentenced in pill mill scheme

SPRINGVILLE – Thomas Mason Dunn and Cindy Louise Hyche Dunn, a couple from Springville, received federal jail time for their involvement in a St. Clair County pill mill scheme.

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Cindy Dunn, 54, to 10 years in prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance outside the usual course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for purposes of promoting a pill conspiracy. 

Thomas Dunn, 57, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for the same money laundering conspiracy. The couple pleaded guilty in March.

Cindy Dunn ran a pain management clinic in Moody under the name Cindy Dunn and Dr. Buckingham, M.D., Weight Loss and Pain Management (CDPM) from January 2012 to December 2015, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay E. Town. It was not a legitimate business but instead was a pill mill churning out thousands of prescriptions for opioid painkillers, according to the charges.

Thomas Dunn performed financial transactions on behalf of CDPM to further the scheme and received prescriptions for opioid painkillers from CDPM.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and IRS-Criminal Investigations investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mohammad Khatib and Robin Beardsley Mark.

“The Department of Justice is determined to stamp out the operation of illegal pain clinics by all means as part of the fight against opioid abuse,” Town said. “The defendants will now serve time in a federal prison for their crime, and they will be joined shortly by those like them.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley was equally adamant about pressing the fight against pill mill operations in Alabama and across the country.

“The defendants in this case preyed upon those addicted to prescription drugs in order to line their own pockets,” he said. “The sentences handed down are a direct result of the hard work put forth by all law-enforcement agencies involved. DEA is committed to bringing to justice those who engage in the dispensing of prescription drugs outside the course of a legitimate medical purpose.”