NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former Queens doctor is facing charges after allegedly selling amphetamine diet pills without a license to a 65-year-old woman that later died while taking the drug.
Prosecutors allege that Steven Bernhard, 66, of Bayside, continued to sell amphetamine diet pills out of his office on Bell Boulevard long after his medical license was revoked for dangerous prescribing practices and several instances of negligence in 2013.
A 65-year-old woman who was a long-time patient of Bernhard died of a heart attack several weeks after receiving a large supply of amphetamine diet pills from the former doctor in March of 2015, prosecutors say.
According to prosecutors, the woman had a history of heart-related medical issues, and Bernhard had allegedly neglected to properly evaluate the woman to determine whether it was safe for her to take amphetamines, which are not recommended for those with heart problems.
Bernhard is also accused of allegedly ordering up to 1.5 million prescription amphetamine pills from a wholesale distributor between January 2013 and 2015, in direct violation of his license suspension, as well as writing up to 20 illegal prescriptions for opioid painkillers — such as Vicodin and Percocet — for friends and family.
Charges against Bernhard include unauthorized practice of medicine, fraud and deceit related to a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, and several counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.