NOV 13 (LONG ISLAND, N.Y.) - Frank Telang, a Long Island doctor, pleaded guilty today to illegally distributing oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription pain killer, and income tax evasion. Telang entered his plea before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco at the United States Courthouse located in Central Islip, New York.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Toni Weirauch, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York.
During his plea allocution, Telang admitted that between April 13, 2011 and October 20, 2011, he sold prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances to undercover officers working in conjunction with the DEA. Telang also admitted meeting purported patients during the evening hours in parking lots near his office in Port Jefferson Station, New York, to provide prescriptions without performing any medical examinations. Telang also admitted failing to pay taxes on the cash he received for providing the illegal prescriptions to purported patients.
When sentenced, Telang faces a maximum statutory sentence of 25 years in prison. As part of his guilty plea, Telang agreed to forfeit $10,500.
Oxycodone is a controlled substance that may be dispensed by medical professionals for legitimate medical purposes in the usual course of professional treatment. When crushed into powder form and ingested, it is a powerful and highly addictive drug that is increasingly abused because of the euphoric sensation that it induces.
“The abuse of prescription medications such as oxycodone, a highly addictive drug, is growing in our communities at an alarming rate. As a doctor, this defendant had an obligation to ‘first, do no harm.’ Instead, his motto became ‘first, make money.’ Telang violated the law and his oath as a medical professional by selling prescriptions for this dangerous drug outside the scope of his professional practice and not for any medical purpose,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to vigorously prosecute illegal prescription drug distribution.”
Ms. Lynch thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New York, for their invaluable assistance in the investigation.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen L. Bode.
In January 2012, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the DEA, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in this district, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, and the New York City Police Department, along with other key federal, state, and local government partners, launched the Prescription Drug Initiative to mount a comprehensive response to what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioid analgesics. So far, the Prescription Drug Initiative has brought over 100 federal and local criminal prosecutions, taken civil enforcement action against a pharmacy, removed prescription authority from numerous rogue doctors, and expanded information-sharing among enforcement agencies to better target and pursue drug traffickers. The Initiative is also involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.