COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Georgia doctor has pleaded guilty to illegally providing prescriptions for opioids that were sold throughout a so-called Irish Travelers community in South Carolina.

The State reports 76-year-old Fred Gilliard pleaded guilty to illegally distributing oxycodone Monday.

Prosecutor Jay Richardson says the general practice doctor who specialized in addiction therapy provided the Irish Travelers with prescriptions for drugs that were sold throughout the Murphy Village community. Richardson says Gilliard also asked female patients for sex.

Federal agents investigating a white-collar crime ring in the community received a tip about the doctor last year.

Murphy Village is just over the state line from Augusta, Georgia.

Gilliard has previously served time for illegal distribution of drugs and Medicare billing fraud.

The charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence and $1 million fine.

Information from: The State,

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