NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A doctor with offices in Midtown Manhattan and Rockland County pleaded not guilty to charges that he illegally sold prescription painkillers to drug dealers.
Dr. David Brizer, 60, of Manhattan is also accused of under-reporting his income on his state tax returns in 2010 and 2011 by at least a half a million dollars, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Monday. Much of that money was proceeds from his prescription sales, Schneiderman said.
Brizer, a psychiatrist, faces several fraud and conspiracy charges, including tax fraud and criminal sale and possession of prescription drugs.
According to the 55-count indictment, Brizer allegedly sold prescriptions for oxycodone and other narcotics for up to $300 each from February 2010 to August 2012. Prosecutors said Brizer sold millions of dollars worth of painkillers from his offices in Nyack and West 54th Street.
“Instead of saving lives, Dr. Brizer used his position to supply drug dealers and feed a prescription drug epidemic that is devastating families across our state. The message is clear – whether you are a doctor or a criminal on the street, my office will prosecute those profiting off the cycle of abuse,” Schneiderman said in a statement announcing the charges. “This office will use every tool at our disposal to bring criminal charges against those who line their own pockets by fueling dangerous addictions and illegally trafficking in prescription narcotics.”
According to the indictment, Brizer sold prescriptions to reputed drug dealer Franklin Walker, among other dealers, during a one-year investigation ending in July 2012. The fraudulent prescriptions allowed Walker to acquire up to 240 oxycodone pills at a time, prosecutors said.
Walker was arrested in December on drug possession charges and grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay thousands of dollars to pharmacies for narcotics he illegally obtained and resold. Walker, 52, of Westtown, faces nine years in prison.
In addition to allegedly writing fraudulent prescriptions for fake patients, Brizer was charged with possessing controlled substances, including for methylphenidate, the chemical name for speed, which he obtained by issuing prescriptions in the names of people who had no knowledge he was doing so, prosecutors said.
Brizer pleaded not guilty to the charges in Rockland County Court and remains free on bail. If convicted, Brizer could face up to seven years in prison.
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