NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The doctor who treated Medford pharmacy shooter David Laffer has been arrested for allegedly selling prescriptions to another person who overdosed and died, sources told CBS 2.
The Manhattan prosecutor’s office confirmed that Dr. Stan Xuhui Li had been supplying pills to Laffer, the man who massacred four people in a Medford pharmacy on Father’s Day. .
Li, 57, worked out of a pain management clinic in Flushing. Li faces 15 counts of Criminal Sale of Prescription for a Controlled Substance. He also faces reckless endangerment charges.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Prosecutors say Li sold prescriptions to Michael Cornetta of Queens. Cornetta, 40, allegedly received dozens of prescriptions from Li for a year between 2009 and 2010, ultimately dying of an overdose.
Li, who lives in Hamilton, N.J., was picked up this Saturday at Medical Pain Management, his Flushing clinic. Li faced arraignment this morning.
Investigators said that as many as a hundred and twenty people were seen lined up, waiting to get into the clinic before it even opened. Some of those people were seen re-selling the pills on the street afterwards, CBS 2’s Don Dahler reported.
However, Li’s attorney denies the allegations against his clent.
“He followed the rules when it came to any of this. It’s unfortunate that certain cases ended up the way they did, but that was because those people were going to multiple doctors,” attorney Aaron Wallenstein said.
Last week, Newsday detailed how convicted murderer Laffer prescription-shopped before killing four people during a Long Island pharmacy robbery. It said Laffer filled 24 prescriptions from Li.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story
Investigators think Li may have also sold prescriptions to nine other people who died of overdoses since January 2009.
Authorities say they became aware of the alleged prescription sale when relatives of Li’s patients and members of the community complained. Once authorities started investigating, they allegedly saw patients selling pills in front of the clinic. Those persons were arrested.
Li is an anesthesiologist at New Jersey hospital. He ran the clinic on the weekends.
Authorities allege Li saw as many as 120 patients a day, writing more than 17,000 prescriptions – at least 65 percent were for oxycodone.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota is calling for a special grand jury to investigate the so-called practice of “doctor shopping,” possible criminal activity of doctors in prescribing painkillers and the effectiveness of a state database which tracks painkiller abuse.
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