NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A once prominent Harlem doctor was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for writing phony prescriptions for painkillers.

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Dr. Diana Williamson had hoped to avoid prison time by revealing that she suffers from a multiple personality disorder.

She blamed one of her dozen or so alter egos, one she calls Nala, for writing the bogus prescriptions of Oxycontin and Percocet. The painkillers were then peddled out on the streets for $20 or $40 a pill by the patients of a Harlem clinic.

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Williamson claimed that Nala thought she was just helping people.

Federal Judge Lorretta Preska, who had been openly skeptical of Williamson’s multiple personality claim, handed down the sentence Tuesday.

Jonathan Marks, Williamson’s attorney, told the judge the sentence was monstrous and he’d never seen such an unfeeling reaction from a judge.

He said it was tantamount to a death sentence.

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Williamson, 54, and eight other defendants were charged in a federal complaint with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. She and three others also were charged with defrauding Medicaid out of nearly $1 million since last fall.