New York Doctor Indicted in Oxycodone Distribution Conspiracy
May 17 (Newark, NJ) – Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced a doctor who allegedly wrote illegal prescriptions for oxycodone was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges he conspired to illegally distribute the drug, and that he distributed it on numerous occasions.
Dr. Hassan Lahham, 54, of New York, was charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and 11 counts of distribution of oxycodone.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
As early as 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. 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.
The prescriptions were filled at various New Jersey pharmacies in 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.
Each count with which the defendant is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the N.J. DEA Tactical Diversion Squad with the investigation leading to the charges and arrests. The squad is composed of DEA special agents, diversion investigators and intelligence analysts; FBI and IRS special agents; and local law enforcement officers from the Essex County Sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics, Newark Police Department, Elizabeth Police Department, Clinton Township Police Department, and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Joseph Gribko of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.
The charge and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.