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Police & Fire

Doctor Charged With Murder For Prescribing Opioids, Nassau DA Says

Nassau DA Madeline Singas announced the charges at a news conference on Thursday, March 4 in Mineola.
Nassau DA Madeline Singas announced the charges at a news conference on Thursday, March 4 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Nassau County DA

A Long Island doctor has been indicted on five counts of murder for prescription practices that led to the death of five patients between 2016 and 2018, said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas at a news conference on Thursday, March 4 in Mineola.

George Blatti, age 75, of Rockville Centre, was arrested on Thursday and charged on the five counts of murder, as well as 11 counts of reckless endangerment, the DA's Ofice said,

Prosecutors believe this is the first time a doctor has been charged under New York State law with murder under the theory of depraved indifference to human life.

Blatti was remanded to jail and is due back in court on Tuesday, March 30. 

Singas said that the Nassau County Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit began an investigation into several opioid overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal, in August 2018.

 That investigation revealed that certain individuals had an inordinate number of prescriptions for opioids written by the same physician, Blatti. 

Blatti, a general practitioner originally licensed to practice medicine in 1976, had no specialized training or accreditation in pain management, Singas said.

For a time, he maintained a makeshift office in a Franklin Square storefront that was formerly a Radio Shack, with a Radio Shack sign and merchandise racks on the walls.

The original indictment alleges that Blatti met customers at his Franklin Square office through 2019, and after he lost access to that space, saw patients in his car, prescribing medications with no examination from the parking lots of the Rockville Centre hotel where he lived and a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. 

Neither Radio Shack nor Dunkin’ Donuts is alleged to have known or participated in any of the alleged wrongdoing by the defendant, the complaint said.

The grand jury charged that patients, who were addicted to opioids, went to Blatti with their requests for controlled medications, and the defendant allegedly prescribed drugs with no medical history review or exam. 

He billed insurance and accepted cash. In some cases, he allegedly prescribed opioid painkillers at patients’ request to individuals he had never met or spoken to. 

He was originally arrested in April 2019 and arraigned on a 54-count indictment.

His five alleged victims included:

  • Geraldine Sabatasso, who received some 4,230 pills. She died at age 50 in March 2016.
  • Michael Kinzer, who received more than 1,000 pills. He died at age 44 in 2016.
  • Robert Mielinis, who received more than 10,000, died at the age of 55 in 2017.
  • Sean Quigley, who receive more than 10,620 pills, died at the age of 31 in 2017
  • Diane Woodring, who received more than 18,000, died at the age of 53 in 2018.

“In my nearly 30-year career as a prosecutor, I have never seen a case of such outrageous disregard for human life by a physician," Singas said.  

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