August 10, 2011
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Government Reaches Settlement With Middleton Physician
BOSTON, MA - Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division and United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced two civil settlement agreements with a Middleton doctor by which he will pay the government $50,000 in civil penalties and will forfeit $150,000 in connection with multiple violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
Dr. Leonard R. Friedman, who has had a private practice in psychiatry since 1969 and who is a graduate of Harvard Law School, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on 14 counts of controlled substances offenses. On August 8, 2011, he pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court, to eight felony counts of issuing invalid prescriptions “not issued in the usual course of professional treatment. . . .” for writing unnecessary and invalid prescriptions for drugs containing oxycodone, a Class B controlled substance, as well as for prescription drugs containing diazepam, a Class C controlled substance.
The Settlement Agreements resolve parallel civil claims based on Friedman’s issuance of narcotics prescriptions in violation of federal law. The federal claims, as well as the state criminal charges, arose out of an investigation that found numerous instances during the period April 2009 through July 2010, in which Friedman issued prescriptions for controlled substances in the absence of legitimate medical purpose and/or without acting as a practitioner in the usual course of his medical practice. Friedman issued the illegal prescriptions at his medical offices in both Revere and Middleton.
In connection with the guilty pleas entered in Suffolk County Superior Court this week, Friedman agreed to permanently resign his Massachusetts license to practice medicine, to forfeit his rights to a DEA license to dispense controlled substances and to forfeit $16,000. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Peter Lauriat to two years probation and an $8,000 criminal fine.
The investigation leading to the civil penalty and forfeiture settlements, as well as the state criminal convictions, was conducted by the DEA’s Drug Diversion Section, Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Bucci of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Middleton and Revere Police Departments, the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.