Knoxville woman, three others accused of operating pill mills convicted on charges

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville woman who was accused of being responsible for distributing enough oxycodone to generate revenue of at least $17.5 million between April 2011 and March 2015 was convicted with three others in connection to the operation that had been the subject of a multi-year federal case.

Sylvia Hofstetter was among a group of people arrested after agents raided several pain clinics around the Knoxville area in March 2015. Hofstetter, along with nursing aide Cynthia Clemons and others initially faced enhanced penalties upon conviction, as prosecutors had said people died from opioids dispensed by Hofstetter and others.

The jury returning its verdict on Thursday, convicting Hofstetter and the three other defendants in the case, Clemons, Courtney Newman and Holli Womack; who were all found guilty in one count of aiding and abetting one another in intentionally opening, using and maintaining a business for the purpose of illegally distributing the Schedule II controlled substances — from the East Knoxville Healthcare Services clinic on Lovell Road.

RELATED: Knoxville woman charged in pill mill operation released

All four defendants were found not guilty of multiple opioid-related overdose deaths: The 2012 overdose death of Carolyn Hayes, the 2013 overdose death of Anna Vann-Keathley, the 2014 death of Sandra Boling and the 2014 overdose death of Henry Reus.

Clemons was also found guilty in one count of knowingly and intentionally operating and maintaining a business for illegally distributing Schedule II drugs from the Urgent Care and Surgery Center in Lenoir City.

RELATED: Knoxville woman, multiple others indicted in pill mill operation

Hofstetter found guilty in 11 of 20 charges

Sylvia Hofstetter, 2015. (FILE)

In addition to the aforementioned charges, Hofstetter was also found guilty on several other charges: Racketeering, Distribution of opioid substances outside of the scope of professional practice, Money Laundering, Making a monetary transaction in criminally derived property valued over $10,000 (a house and a Lexus vehicle), and operating and maintaining a business for illegally distributing Schedule II controlled substances.

MORE: FBI agent testifies 2 people fatally overdosed from pills prescribed from alleged pill mill in Lenoir City

The defendants are yet to be sentenced in this case.

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