Staten Island doctor pleads guilty to illegally distributing oxycodone
NEW YORK - United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman and Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Division, announced today that Carl Anderson, a state licensed doctor, pled guilty to writing medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone. Anderson pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox and will be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Lorna G. Schofield at a later date.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As a physician, Carl Anderson should have been the first line of defense in the ongoing opioid epidemic. Instead, as he admitted in federal court today, in exchange for cash payments, Anderson conspired with others to dispense dangerous and addictive opiates that were being sold on the street. He now faces serious prison time for his actions.”
According to allegations in the Indictment and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
Oxycodone is a highly addictive, narcotic opioid that is used to treat severe and chronic pain conditions. Oxycodone prescriptions are in high demand and have significant cash value to drug dealers. In fact, oxycodone tablets can be resold on the street for thousands of dollars. For example, 30-milligram oxycodone tablets have a current street value of approximately $30 each in New York City, with street prices even higher in other parts of the country. A single prescription for 180 30-milligram tablets of oxycodone can net an illicit distributor $5,400 in cash or more.
From at least approximately 2006 until his arrest in October 2018, Anderson operated a medical clinic in Staten Island, New York, where he wrote thousands of medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions in exchange for cash. Anderson prescribed large quantities of oxycodone pills to patients he knew had no legitimate medical need for the medication, including his co-defendant Arthur Grande, who sold the pills on the streets of New York. Anderson often held “patient visits” without appointments in the middle of the night – sometimes at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. and sometimes at his home – and required “patients” to pay $150 to $200 per prescription in cash. Many “patients” traveled from long distances, displayed visible signs of addiction to narcotics, or were plainly not taking, and instead were selling, their pills. When Anderson was arrested in October 2018, the DEA found over $200,000 in illicit drug proceeds in his home.
While pleading guilty today, Anderson admitted that he “violated [his] duties granted to [him] as a licensed physician,” “willfully turned a blind eye to . . . suspicions,” and participated in a “scheme” that “amounted to . . . diversion” of oxycodone. As part of his guilty plea today, Anderson agreed to the forfeiture of $264,164 in drug proceeds that were seized from his home.
Anderson, 58, of Staten Island, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. Anderson’s co-defendant, Arthur Grande, pled guilty to the same offense on Oct. 1, 2019. This offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad in New York, which comprises agents and officers from the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, New York State Department of Financial Services, New York National Guard and New York City Department of Investigation and New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. He also acknowledged the assistance of the Department of Health & Human Services.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos is in charge of the prosecution.