Doctor Charged Drug Dealers for Writing Fraudulent Prescriptions
MAY 14 -- (Brooklyn, NY) An indictment was unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn charging a Long Island doctor and two others with narcotics trafficking as part of a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of oxycontin, a highly addictive prescription medicine used to treat severe pain, and with obtaining oxycontin by fraud.1 Dr. RICHARD MORGAN and DAVID MILLER are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle at the U. S. Courthouse, Central Islip, New York. JUSTIN FAELLO will be arraigned at a later date.
The charges were announced by Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and John P. Gilbride, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York.
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Gilbride stated, “Trafficking Oxycontin is no different than trafficking cocaine, but in this case, the source of supply wore a white doctor’s coat. Seriously damaging his medical oath, Dr. Morgan accepted fees for writing fraudulent prescriptions. DEA and its law enforcement partners are dedicated to monitoring prescriptions and ensuring that legitimate pharmaceuticals are not diverted for illegitimate abuse.”
According to the indictment and a previously filed complaint, MORGAN, an internist with offices in Massapequa and New York City, sold prescriptions for oxycontin and other narcotic drug controlled substances, primarily to a group of oxycontin distributors and users who operated out of the Smithtown and Kings Park on Long Island.2 As set forth in a search warrant affidavit also unsealed today, the purchasers, including FAELLO and MILLER, met with MORGAN at his Massapequa office. Morgan conducted a cursory examination of the 2 purchasers, who initially claimed to be suffering from chronic pain, and then wrote prescriptions for oxycontin. After the first several visits, FAELLO and MILLER provided MORGAN with identification information for several other individuals, including friends and family members. MORGAN allegedly wrote prescriptions for oxycontin and other narcotic drugs in the names of these individuals, charging several hundred dollars for each prescription. According to the pleadings, MORGAN never met or examined these other individuals.
As detailed in the government’s pleadings, during a period of approximately eight months from October 2006 through May 2007, MORGAN wrote over 1,500 prescriptions for oxycontin and other narcotic controlled substances for individuals who were not actual patients, or for individuals whom he had never met or examined. According to the search warrant affidavit, one individual stated that he paid MORGAN approximately $6,000 per month for over a year for fraudulent narcotic prescriptions.
Earlier today, DEA and U.S. Health and Human Services agents executed a search warrant at Island Drug and Surgical, located in Levittown, New York, and seized a computer, financial records, and prescriptions for oxycontin and vicodin. According to the search warrant affidavit, MORGAN instructed the individuals for whom he wrote fraudulent prescriptions to fill those prescriptions at Island Drug and Surgical. DEA records reveal that hundreds of Morgan issued prescriptions for controlled substances were filled at that pharmacy.
“The fact that a doctor was willing to sell prescriptions for this highly dangerous drug demonstrates the seriousness of the oxycontin problem,” stated United States Attorney Mauskopf. “With today’s arrests we have taken a significant step in stopping criminal activity that put the health and welfare of our communities at risk.” Ms. Mauskopf thanked the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Suffolk County Police Department, and the Nassau County Department of Health and Human Services for their assistance.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bonnie Klapper.