FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A Fairfield psychiatrist who had a practice in Milford has pleaded guilty to illegally handing out drugs and committing healthcare fraud, according to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.
Dr. Ljudmil Kljusev, 52, appeared Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, where he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics and one count of health care fraud.
“This doctor sold controlled substances out of his office for cash, like a common drug dealer,” Daly said.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Kljusev was a “high-volume prescriber” of Adderall and Xanax to patients, many of whom paid for office visits and prescriptions in cash.
Adderall is a narcotic stimulant that is used to treat ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy, which causes sufferers to fall asleep without warning. Xanax, known generically as Alprazolam, is a sedative used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
These kinds of pills can contribute, Daly said, to “drug overdose deaths.”
“They are incredibly dangerous if taken inappropriately and particularly toxic if combined with an opioid,” she added.
Daly said investigators deployed confidential witnesses and an undercover officer who posed as patients in the sting operation.
The probe, she said, revealed that Kljusev prescribed the drugs without conducting full medical examinations of the patients, provided prescriptions without confirming conditions that would medically require treatment using these drugs and dispensed prescriptions in exchange for cash to patients who appeared to be substance abusers or displayed other signs of addiction.
According to court documents, Kljusev also directed non-physician employees to write prescriptions he signed when he was out of the country.
And, Daly said, Kljusev improperly billed private health insurers $76,983 for medical services rendered when he was out of the country in 2014 and 2015.
Kljusev was arrested in November, 2015, and has been in custody ever since, Daly said.
According to a 2015 report by nhregister.com, Kljusev is the son of Nikola Kljusev, who was the first prime minister of Macedonia.
Kljusev, who was considered a flight risk because of his wealth and connections overseas, had been ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Merriam after he was indicted by a federal grand jury, nhregister.com reported.
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. Health care fraud has a maximum sentence of 10 years, Daly said.
Under a binding plea deal -- if accepted by the court -- Kljusev would only face a sentence of 26 to 77 months behind bars, Daly said.
He has also agreed to forfeit a commercial building, located at 227 Naugatuck Ave. in Milford, where his practice was based.
Kljusev also agreed to forfeit $173,095.20 in cash seized from his office when he was arrested, and $117,431.13 in his business checking account, Daly said. He will also pay $76,983 in restitution.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 22.
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