A Manhattan psychiatrist was indicted Monday on 55 counts on charges that he sold prescriptions for oxycodone and other pain killers to drug dealers from his Rockland County and Midtown Manhattan offices.
Dr. David Brizer was also charged with illegal possession of controlled substances and underreporting his income by more than $500,000 on his personal New York State tax returns in 2010 and 2011.
“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,” New York Attorney General Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”
The statement added that Brizer and his associates could have been detected sooner by the authorities had the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, been in place at the time their crimes were being commited. I-STOP was passed in 2012 to require doctors to update a patient’s prescription drug history in real time when prescribing controlled substances.
Brizer allegedly sold prescriptions to drug dealer Franklin Walker, among others, for over two years.
According to the same statement, Brizer was arraigned in Rockland County Court today on 55 felony counts: two top counts of Criminal Tax Fraud; 34 counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance; 15 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance; 2 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing; along with Scheme to Defraud and Conspiracy charges.
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
Anne Cohen is the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.