November 30, 2016
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
Milford Psychiatrist Pleads Guilty To Illegal Drug Distribution And Health Care Fraud Offenses
NOV 30 - HARTFORD, Conn. - Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Ljudmil Kljusev, M.D., 52, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to distributing narcotics outside of the scope of professional practice, and health care fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Kljusev, who operated a psychiatry practice in Milford, was a high-volume prescriber of Adderall and Xanax to patients, many of whom paid for office visits and prescriptions in cash.
Adderall, which is classified as a Schedule II drug by the DEA, is the brand name for a drug containing a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both of which are central nervous system stimulants. This combination of drugs is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity (“ADHD”). Xanax, which is classified as a Schedule IV drug by the DEA, is a brand name for a drug containing Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine drug. Alprazolam is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders or panic disorders.
The investigation, which included the use of confidential witnesses and an undercover officer posing as patients, revealed that Kljusev prescribed the drugs without a full medical examination of the patient, provided prescriptions without confirming conditions that would medically require treatment using these drugs, and dispensed prescriptions in exchange for cash to patients who display substance abuse and addiction behaviors. Kljusev also directed non-physician employees to write prescriptions signed by Kljusev when he was out of the country.
In 2014 and 2015, Kljusev improperly billed private health insurers approximately $76,983 for medical services rendered when he was out of the country.
“This doctor sold controlled substances out of his office for cash, like a common drug dealer,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “We are finding with increasing frequency that the types of pills he distributed are contributing to drug overdose deaths. They are incredibly dangerous if taken inappropriately and particularly toxic if combined with an opioid. We in law enforcement are committed to prosecuting medical professionals who recklessly and illegally put these and other prescription pills on the street. I thank our partners in this ongoing battle: The DEA and talented members of the Tactical Diversion Squad, as well as the Milford Police Department.”
“The DEA is committed to enforcing the Controlled Substance (CSA) by ensuring that all registrants abide by DEA’s prescribing regulations,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “Failure to do so increases the potential for diversion and jeopardizes the public health and safety. DEA pledges to work with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure that these rules and regulations are followed.”
Kljusev has been detained since his arrest on November 12, 2015. Kljuzev pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. In a binding plea agreement, if accepted by the court, the parties have agreed that a sentence between 26 and 77 months of imprisonment is appropriate in this case. Kljusev also has agreed to the forfeiture of property located at 227 Naugatuck Avenue in Milford, where his practice was based, as well as $173,095.20 in cash that was seized from his office on the day of his arrest. He also has agreed to forfeit an additional $117,431.13 contained in his business checking account, and to pay restitution in the amount of $76,983. Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for February 22, 2017.
This investigation has been conducted by the DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the Milford Police Department. The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad includes officers from the Bristol, Greenwich, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, Shelton, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments.