MAY 03 (BROOKLYN, N.Y.) - Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed charging Queens Doctor Gracia L. Mayard with illegal distribution of oxycodone, a highly-addictive prescription medicine used to treat severe pain. Mayard is scheduled to be arraigned at 3:00 p.m. today before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco, at the United States Courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
The indictment was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, Thomas V. Dale, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department, and Joseph A. D'Amico, Superintendent, New York State Police.
On March 20, 2013, as part of a federal and state prescription drug abuse initiative within the Eastern District of New York, Mayard was arrested by members of a DEA Tactical Diversion Squad, comprised of DEA Special Agents, Nassau County Police Department Detectives, and New York State Police Investigators, on charges of illegally distributing oxycodone between January 1, 2012 and March 15, 2013. Mayard has been in custody since his arrest.
According to court filings and records of the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, during the first nine months of 2012, Mayard issued 2,953 oxycodone prescriptions for approximately 376,469 pills to numerous individuals without performing any meaningful medical examination and in exchange for cash. In some cases, Mayard allegedly issued the prescriptions without even meeting the purported patients. On February 6, 2013, members of the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad contacted Mayard concerning his prescription activity, at which time Mayard voluntarily surrendered his DEA registration that authorized him to prescribe controlled substances. However, as alleged in court filings, on February 28, 2013, Mayard nevertheless issued a prescription for oxycodone. On March 13, 2013, a pharmacist, in the presence of DEA agents, called Mayard about the prescription. During the call, Mayard confirmed that he had issued the prescription and provided his surrendered DEA registration number, all in an effort to persuade the pharmacist to fill the oxycodone prescription.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “Illegal prescribing is the money making crime of this decade. Dr. Mayard, with no regard to public safety, abused his position as a licensed Doctor by prescribing pain medications to ‘patients’ with no legitimate medical need in exchange for money. It is estimated that Dr. Mayard wrote prescriptions for 10,000 pills of oxycodone per week affecting the supply of diverted medications in our community and on the streets. 26% of first time drug users begin with non-medical use of prescription drugs and as a result, federal, state and local law enforcement have combined resources to combat the accessibility of diverted prescription medication.”
“Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers are now more frequent than those from heroin and cocaine combined – this is an epidemic,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “The defendant looked at this epidemic and saw opportunity – not to save lives and heal suffering, but for personal profit. Rather than follow his oath to ‘do no harm,’ Mayard prescribed hundreds of thousands of highly addictive pills with complete disregard for where they would end up or who would take them.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Nassau County Police Department, and the New York State Police for their assistance in this investigation.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
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 jurisdiction, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department, and New York State Police, 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 120 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 also is involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen L. Bode.
Name: GRACIA L. MAYARD