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New Jersey Doctor Indicted on Charges He Sold Oxycodone Prescriptions to Patients with No Legitimate Need for the Drug

MAR 02 (TRENTON, N.J.) –– Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, and New Jersey State Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced the indictment of a doctor from Passaic County for selling prescriptions of Oxycodone to patients, including those he knew to be addicts and drug dealers.

Dr. Byung Kang, 77, of Little Falls, N.J., who operated a family/general practice out of an office in Little Falls, was indicted yesterday by a state grand jury on charges of strict liability for drug-induced death (1st degree), money laundering (1st degree), conspiracy (2nd degree), unlawful distribution of oxycodone (2nd degree), unlawful  distribution of oxycodone within 1,000 feet of a school (3rd degree), filing a fraudulent state tax return (3rd degree), and failure to pay state income tax (3rd degree).  Kang’s wife, Soo Kang, 73, who acted as the receptionist for Kang’s medical practice, is charged along with him in the money laundering, conspiracy and tax-related counts of the indictment.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, the DEA New Jersey Division Tactical Diversion Squad, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Enforcement Bureau. 

From June 2010 through April 2016, Kang allegedly sold 90-count prescriptions for 30 milligram oxycodone pills to numerous patients for $150 or $200 when the patients had no medical need for the potent pain pills.  Kang’s own records allegedly revealed that he knew many of those patients were addicted to oxycodone or were reselling the pills.  Kang is charged with strict liability for drug-induced death in the death of Michael Justice, 26, of Clifton, who was found dead of an oxycodone overdose on Dec. 6, 2014 in a bedroom of his home, where empty bottles for oxycodone prescribed by Kang were recovered, including an empty bottle for a prescription filled just five days earlier.  Eighteen months before he died, Justice’s mother called Kang and threatened to call police if Kang did not stop prescribing oxycodone for her son, but Kang allegedly continued to write prescriptions until Justice’s death, without medical justification.

“Doctors are supposed to preserve health and life, but Dr. Kang allegedly turned his back on all medical and ethical standards, not to mention all standards of human decency,” said Attorney General Porrino.  “By indiscriminately peddling this dangerous painkiller – which has been the gateway to so much opiate addiction, misery and death – Dr. Kang allegedly caused the death of a vulnerable young man and put himself on a par with every street-corner drug dealer.”

Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division said, “Unfortunately, this is another example of a doctor who was allegedly more concerned with his financial health than the health of his patients.  He allegedly disregarded his patients’ addictions and kept prescribing oxycodone without justification, which resulted in the death of Michael Justice.”

The state seized $564,304 in U.S. currency during the execution of a search warrant and seized $869,777 from bank accounts of the Kangs.  The money laundering count of the indictment charges that those sums are the proceeds of Dr. Kang’s criminal activity in distributing oxycodone.  The state has filed a forfeiture action to seize those proceeds. 


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