WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A Westchester physician has been arrested for illegally selling prescriptions for oxycodone pills, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday.
Anesthesiologist Dr. Arnold Roth is accused of selling prescriptions totaling 15,000 pills to an alleged narcotics dealer and at least three others, the AG's office announced.
The pills have an estimated street value of $450,000, authorities said.
Roth, 60, was arrested after investigators from the New York State Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit searched Roth's home and office at 35 Central Parkway in Mount Vernon, officials said.
Alleged narcotics dealer Nidal Aljamal of Mahopac was also arrested for conspiring with Roth, the AG's office announced.
Court documents show Roth issued at least 48 prescriptions amounting to more than 8,800 pills, to Aljamal for oxycodone pills between July 2011 and July 2012.
In June of this year, the New York state legislature unanimously passed Schneiderman's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP), which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
I-STOP requires that when doctors are writing prescriptions for certain controlled substances, they must also review a patient's prescription drug history and update it in real time.
Schneiderman said had such a system been in place at the time the alleged illegal prescriptions were written, authorities could have detected these crimes more quickly .
"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," Schneiderman said in a news release. "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."
The three other individuals who were fraudulently written prescriptions by Roth were recruited by Aljamal, according to paperwork filed at the Town of Hyde Park Justice Court.
The three individuals told investigators with AG's office they were not Roth's patients and had never met the doctor. Upon receiving oxycodone pills from the pharmacies, they then turned the pills over to Aljamal, investigators said.
One of the individuals told investigators that Aljamal paid him $250 for each Roth prescription he successfully filled. Another said 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.
Roth has been charged with 11 counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. He faces up to five and a half years in prison if convicted
Aljamal, 37, is charged with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
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