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Northern Westchester Doctor Charged After Patient's Fentanyl Overdose Death

Manhattan federal court.
Manhattan federal court. Photo Credit: File

A doctor from Mount Kisco who is already facing charges for an alleged kickback scheme has been indicted for distributing the fentanyl that led to a fatal overdose.

Gordon Freedman was indicted in Manhattan federal court this week with 16 counts of distributing oxycodone, fentanyl and other controlled substances to a patient for his role in prescribing the drugs that led to the overdose.

The indictment alleges that between 2013 and May 2017, Freedman who owned and operated a private pain management office on the Upper East Side prescribed controlled substance to a particular patient, including “enormous quantities” of oxycodone and fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

In 2013 alone, Freedman alleged prescribed 85,427 oxycodone pills - an average of 234 pills each day - containing approximately 2,422,435mg of oxycodone, Berman noted.

On April 13, 2017, Freedman gave the same patient prescriptions for 150 doses of a drug containing fentanyl, and for approximately 950 30mg oxycodone pills. On May 4 that year, the patient died of a fentanyl overdose after ingesting drugs prescribed by Freedman.

Freedman, 58, has been charged with one count of distributing controlled substances that result in the death of another, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Freedman was also charged with 15 counts of distributing controlled substances, which each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

“Physicians take an oath to practice medicine for the sole purpose of improving their patients’ health. Instead, Gordon Freedman allegedly used his medical license to overprescribe dangerous opioids to a patient," Berman said. "When overprescribing deadly fentanyl for no legitimate medical purpose, it is just a matter of time before luck runs out – and in this case, it has – as a patient of Freedman’s has allegedly suffered a fatal overdose as a result of Freedman’s alleged misconduct.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. added, "everyone knows the inherent danger in buying and selling drugs on the street, but when doctors overprescribe legal substances in lethal quantities, they too contribute to the overall drug epidemic. These drugs pose a real threat to our society. We hope to send the message today that there’s no quick fix for doctors who hide behind their prescription pad—this is criminal activity, and it will be treated as such.”

In March last year, Freedman was indicted in a separate case on charges of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. That case is scheduled to begin on Nov. 4.

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