A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Westchester Doctor For Selling Oxycodone Prescriptions To Drug Dealer
Conspired To Supply 15,000 Oxycodone Pills Worth More Than $450K Through Fraudulent Prescriptions
A.G. Schneiderman: My Office Will Bring Criminal Charges Against Doctors Who Traffic Prescription Drugs
WHITE PLAINS – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Westchester anesthesiologist Dr. Arnold Roth for illegally selling prescriptions for the narcotic medication oxycodone. The arrest occurred after investigators from the New York State Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit executed a search warrant at Roth’s residence and principal place of business, at 35 Central Parkway in the City of Mount Vernon. Attorney General Schneiderman’s office also arrested Nidal Aljamal, of Mahopac, who is alleged to be a narcotics dealer and who conspired with Roth to obtain 15,000 oxycodone pills with a street value of more than $450,000 to sell in Dutchess County.
In June, the legislature unanimously passed Attorney General Schneiderman’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP), which was signed into law by the Governor. I-STOP requires doctors to review a patient’s prescription drug history and update it in real time when writing prescriptions for certain controlled substances. Had such a system been in place at the time that Roth and Aljamal committed their crimes authorities could have more quickly detected these crimes.
"Feeding the cycle of abuse is unconscionable. Whether you are a doctor or a dealer on the street, my office will bring criminal charges against those who profit off dangerous addictions and illegally traffic in prescription narcotics,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. "I am confident that I-STOP will prove to be a valuable tool in stemming the flow of dangerous narcotics to our streets. It will also aid law enforcement in holding accountable those health care providers who cynically use their profession as a vehicle to deal drugs.”
Felony complaints filed in the Town of Hyde Park Justice Court charge that Roth issued numerous prescriptions to Aljamal for oxycodone. The doctor also issued prescriptions for oxycodone to at least three other individuals recruited by Aljamal and which were filled at local pharmacies, including the Hyde Park Pharmacy. When pharmacists were presented with these prescriptions they called Dr. Roth who instructed that the prescriptions should be filled. The three individuals told investigators with Attorney General Schneiderman’s office they were not Roth’s patients and had never met the doctor. Upon receiving oxycodone pills from the pharmacies, these individuals turned the pills over to Aljamal. One of these individuals stated that Aljamal paid him $250 for each Roth prescription he successfully filled. Another stated that Aljamal paid her by giving her some of the pills received from the fraudulent prescriptions. All of these individuals stated that Aljamal asked them for their personal information so that he could arrange to have the prescriptions issued.
According to the court papers, Roth issued at least 48 prescriptions to Aljamal for oxycodone pills between July 2011 and July 2012, by which Aljamal collected 8,823, 30 mg pills with a street value of approximately $264,690. The total number of pills Roth wrote in prescriptions for the three individuals identified in the complaint is 6,210 pills. At 30mg per pill, this represents a street value of $186,300. These pills were dispensed between September 2011 and August 2012.
Roth, 60, is charged with eleven counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance, a class C felony; and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony. He faces up to 5 1/2 years in State Prison.
Aljamal, 37, is charged with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony. He faces up to 9 years in State Prison. Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement for their assistance in this investigation.
The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Regional Director Anne Jardine and Special Assistant Attorney General Christopher Borek of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit under the supervision of Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin. The investigation was conducted by Special Investigator Peter Olsen and Senior Special Investigator Dennis Johnston, under the supervision of Supervising Special Investigator Paul Greenspan, Regional Chief Auditor Investigator John Regan and Deputy Chief Investigator Thaddeus Fisher.