Nurse Pleads Guilty to Pain Pill Scandal

Parker and her attorney, Sid Harrell, didn't make any comments when they walked in and out of federal court Friday afternoon.

Bridgette Parker pled guilty to conspiring with two Mobile Doctors to prescribe pain pills to patients who didn’t medically need them in order to make more money.

2 Pain Management Doctors Arrested in Mobile on Drug & Fraud Charges (Image 1)
2 Pain Management Doctors Arrested in Mobile on Drug & Fraud Charges (Image 1)

Physician’s Pain Specialists of Alabama’s (PPSA) two clinics and C&R Pharmacy were raided by authorities in May as part of “Operation Pillution,” a massively coordinated DEA raid of prescription painkiller clinics across four southern states.

The offices were operated by Dr. Xiulu Ruan and Dr. John Couch, who both plead ‘not guilty’ to multiple charges brought against them.

Parker worked as a nurse practitioner under the doctors and alongside fellow nurse and defendant Thomas Palmer. Palmer pled ‘not guilty’ after he was arrested in November.

Court documents show Parker knew Palmer forged Dr. Couch’s signature on prescriptions with his knowledge because Parker asked Palmer to sign Couch’s name for her. Parker, herself, received pain pills from PPSA without any legitimate medical need and went to rehab for 10 weeks to treat her addiction.

Dr. John Patrick Couch (left) and Dr. Xiulu Ruan (right).
Dr. John Patrick Couch (left) and Dr. Xiulu Ruan (right).

Parker and her attorney, Sid Harrell, didn’t make any comments when they walked in and out of federal court Friday afternoon to accept a plea deal from federal prosecutors.

Parker agreed to testify against her colleagues and hand over any information and documents she has about the ongoings at PPSA.

If she cooperates, prosecutors will ask the judge to give Parker a lesser sentence. She could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Christopher Manfuso pleaded guilty to running a massive kick-back scheme with the doctors.
Christopher Manfuso pleaded guilty to running a massive kick-back scheme with the doctors.

Parker is the second person connected with the scandal to take a plea deal. Christopher Manfuso pled guilty to running a massive kick-back scheme with the doctors.

Ruan and Couch are expected to stand trial in July.

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