February 17, 2017
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
Fairfield Doctor Who Illegally Prescribed Oxycodone Sentenced
FEB 17 - 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 Paul Bellofiore, M.D., 56, of Trumbull, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to two years of probation for illegally prescribing oxycodone. Judge Thompson also ordered Bellofiore to perform 200 hours of community service, and prohibited him from writing prescriptions for controlled substances until October 13, 2017.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Bellofiore is a physician who practiced out of an office in Fairfield. Two of Bellofiore’s longtime patients were a married couple who lived in Connecticut until approximately 2011, when they relocated to Florida.
Bellofiore knew that, prior to moving to Florida, the couple had unlawfully obtained forged prescriptions for opioid medications from Bellofiore’s former medical assistant and, as a result, he should have been aware of the possibility that the couple was abusing or diverting their medications. After moving to Florida, the couple traveled to Connecticut approximately twice per year, during which visits they scheduled medical appointments with Bellofiore. At the conclusion of each appointment, Bellofiore provided the couple with approximately six months of predated prescriptions, including prescriptions for Oxycodone, to last until their next appointment.
At times, the couple was unable to travel to Connecticut to see Bellofiore and obtain their prescriptions in person, in which case Bellofiore left the predated prescriptions for a friend or relative of the couple to pick up from Bellofiore’s office. It was Bellofiore understands that the friend or relative would fill the prescriptions each month at a pharmacy in Connecticut and mail the medications to the couple in Florida.
In approximately February 2016, Bellofiore provided a stack of prescriptions to a friend of the married couple. The prescriptions, which were improperly dated to make it appear that they were issued at monthly intervals after February 2016, authorized the couple to receive thousands of pills of oxycodone and Percocet, a medication containing oxycodone. Bellofiore also failed to include on the prescriptions the couple’s address in Florida, which might have alerted a pharmacist filling the prescriptions in Connecticut to the possibility that the medications were being abused or diverted.
The couple subsequently diverted a significant amount of their medications for profit by arranging through a middleman for street-level resale of the pills in and around Waterbury. The Controlled Substances Act prohibits physicians from dispensing any Schedule II controlled substance, including oxycodone, without a valid written prescription. The prescription must be “dated as of, and signed on, the day when issued” and “bear the full name and address of the patient.” A practitioner also may not issue multiple prescriptions at any single time authorizing a patient to receive more than a 90-day supply of a Schedule II controlled substance.
On October 13, 2016, Bellofiore pleaded guilty to one count of issuing unlawful prescriptions for oxycodone. He has been prohibited from writing prescriptions for controlled substances since that time.
This investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, which includes officers from the Bristol, Greenwich, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, Shelton, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments.