A recent case out of New York highlights the government’s continued crack down on opioid prescription abuse. The case involves an endocrinologist with offices in the Bronx and Yonkers. State officials accused the medical professional of prescribing over 50,000 oxycodone pills to a single patient over a span of five years.
Prescription details: Physician admits he was aware patient was likely selling pills
The prosecution stated the physician was aware the alleged patient was selling the pills for profit. They further accused the physician of providing the prescriptions in exchange for $100,000 cash as well as a lavish vacations and expensive meals. When faced with the prosecution’s argument, the physician chose to accept a plea deal. The plea did not include acknowledgment of the perks noted above, but did include guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute narcotics and health care fraud.
A court could sentence the physician to up to twenty years imprisonment. Sentencing will occur in October. The agreement results in maximum sentence that is much less than the original charges, as the prosecution was moving forward with five charges and the plea deal only included two.
One of many: Government pursues improper opioid prescriptions
This case is not rare. The same week another, separate case involved a New York doctor accused of fraudulently prescribing 1 million oxycodone pills. The court sentenced this physician to a five-year prison sentence.
Due to the government’s rigorous review of opioid abuse allegations, physicians that receive notice that they are under investigation by the government for similar crimes are wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney experienced in health care fraud crimes can discuss your options and better ensure your legal rights are protected throughout the investigation.