A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of Westchester Doctor For Selling Oxycodone Prescriptions

Dr. Arnold Roth Faces 1 to 3 Years Behind Bars After Admitting He Sold $480K Worth of Rx Narcotics With Fraudulent Prescriptions

Schneiderman: My Office Will Seek Prison For Doctors Who Traffic In Prescription Drugs-*

MOUNT VERNON – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Westchester anesthesiologist Dr. Arnold Roth on charges he sold prescriptions for oxycodone from his Mount Vernon home, which he also used as a medical office. Roth pleaded guilty before Dutchess County Court Judge Peter M. Forman to two felony counts, Criminal Sale of a Prescription of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, for selling prescriptions for pills worth more than $480,000 on the streets. He faces 1 to 3 years behind bars at sentencing. His sentencing is scheduled for September 26th.

“My office will use all the tools available to us to prosecute doctors who break the law and feed a dangerous cycle of drug abuse,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Dr. Roth used his medical license to place powerful addictive narcotics in the hands of drug dealers and helped feed a prescription drug epidemic that is devastating communities and families across New York. Now, he’s going to prison.”

Last year, the Legislature unanimously passed Attorney General Schneiderman’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP), which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Starting August 27th, I-STOP will require 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 committed his crimes authorities could have more quickly detected them.

As part of his guilty plea, Roth, 60, admitted that between June 30, 2011, and August 31, 2012, he sold prescriptions for oxycodone to a Dutchess County man, writing prescriptions in the man’s name and in the names of his accomplices, even though Roth had never met those individuals. The Dutchess County man received all of the pills from these prescriptions. Roth admitted that his actions allowed the man to obtain more than 16,000 oxycodone pills in a 14-month period.  Those pills had a street value of more than $480,000. Roth also admitted entering into similar agreements and selling narcotic prescriptions to others in Westchester County.

Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation.

The investigation was conducted by Special Investigator Peter Olsen and Special Auditor Investigator Christopher Giacoia, and supervised by Chief Regional Auditor John Regan, Supervising Special Investigator Peter Markiewitz and ChiefDominick Zarrella of the Investigations Bureau.

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 MFCU Director Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.

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