Indictment: Doctor ran pill mill out of Buckhead condo

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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ATLANTA —

A doctor is facing federal charges for allegedly running a pill mill out of his Buckhead condo.

A federal indictment said he would prescribe large amounts of prescription pills, sometimes without even examining patients.

Dr. David Battista is facing charges of dispensing large amounts of prescription painkillers illegally.

Anthony Licata, Battista's former business manager at Chrion Medical Services in Buckhead, said he moved with Battista from Florida to open the clinic.

"Eventually things went south," Licata told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman. "He basically went crazy. Eventually he didn't show up to practice any more. Patients were calling for their doctor."

Licata said Battista moved his practice out of their clinic location on East Shadowlawn Avenue to a condo in Buckhead.

According to a federal indictment, this was all "part of the conspiracy that the defendant would prescribe oxycodone, morphine and Alprazolam at a patient's first appointment without conducting an examination."

Several attempts to reach Battista by phone were unsuccessful. He has not been arrested, but has been charged.

"It wasn't my place to do anything. I did what I was told, which was nothing and finally it was too much. I had to walk away," said Licata.

Licata opened another clinic in the same location, which he said is above board.

"Just thought they didn't fit and my neighbor across the street thought, 'What kind of people have moved in here and what are they doing?'" neighbor Clint Elliot told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

Battista's license was suspended by the Georgia Composite Medical Board on June 10, 2013, for failure to submit results of a mental and physical examination after concerns were raised.