JULY 22 (TRENTON, N.J.) – Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced a physician who wrote illegal prescriptions for oxycodone was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to illegally distribute the medication.
Dr. Hassan Lahham, 55, of New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to Count One of an Indictment charging him with conspiring to distribute oxycodone.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Since January 2009, Lahham issued prescriptions to co-conspirators for drugs containing oxycodone, outside the usual course of medical practice and not for any legitimate medical purpose. The prescriptions were filled at various New Jersey pharmacies located in and around Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic counties and redistributed by others. Lahham wrote the prescriptions in exchange for cash payments, and knew the pills were to be redistributed.
Oxycodone, the active ingredient in brand name pills such as Oxycontin, Roxicodone and Percocet, is a Schedule II controlled substance – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Lahham to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, along with the Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Task Force Officers, Detectives and Intelligence Analysts of the Atlantic City Resident Office; Camden Resident Office Diversion Group; Seaside Heights Police Department; Barnegat Police Department; Ship Bottom Police Department; and the N.J. DEA Tactical Diversion Squad, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.