Passaic County Doctor Charged in Conspiracy to Distribute Opioids
NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, doctor was charged with conspiring to distribute opioids without a legitimate medical reason, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Field Division Cheryl Ortiz and U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Lisa Ferraro, 65, of Hillsdale, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of knowingly and intentionally conspiring and agreeing with others to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Ferraro made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and was released on $150,000 unsecured bond.
Ferraro practiced internal medicine in Paterson, New Jersey. From January 2020 to Aug. 23, 2023, she participated in a conspiracy to prescribe oxycodone, an opioid pain medication, to individuals who posed as patients, but whom Ferraro never physically examined or questioned about symptoms to determine whether there was a legitimate medical need for oxycodone. Among the patients were two individuals who were incarcerated while Ferraro was prescribing oxycodone in their names. Ferraro typically wrote prescriptions for 90 pills of 30mg oxycodone each, which were typically split three ways among Ferraro, a conspirator who recruited the fake patients, and the fake patients themselves.
Over the course of the conspiracy, Ferraro wrote approximately 425 prescriptions for approximately 36,500 30 mg oxycodone pills.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.