A doctor and pharmacist from Westchester were among seven medical professionals that have been accused of illegally distributing millions of oxycodone pills.
Yonkers resident Nadem Sayegh, a doctor with offices in Westchester and the Bronx, and Marc Klein, who owns a pharmacy in White Plains, are each facing time behind bars for their roles in a pill mill that has been under investigation. Both are scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
According to investigators who announced their arrests, Sayegh wrote illegal prescriptions in order to live a life of luxury.
He “maintained a corrupt relationship with a co-conspirator, issuing oxycodone prescriptions in his name, variations of his name, his family members’ names, and the names of other individuals in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash, expensive dinners, high-end whiskey, cruises, and all-expense-paid trips.”
Among Sayegh’s alleged activities included writing some prescriptions for which there was no legitimate medical purpose or people who didn’t even visit his medical office, including a patient who was overseas and another who was incarcerated.
Klein, a New Jersey resident, is the owner of JMR Pharmacy on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. He allegedly filled oxycodone prescriptions that he knew were illegitimate, including some filled by a customer in multiple variations of his name and date of birth. Other prescriptions were filled in the names of individuals who never went to the pharmacy.
The indictment states that Klein filled thousands of oxycodone prescriptions, “fronted” controlled substances and made false reports to New York State officials. In exchange for the prescriptions, he was given cash and gifted a vacation. Klein has admitted “that he and his employees could be called ‘licensed drug dealers,’ because ‘oxy pays the bills at (his) pharmacy.
“These doctors and other health professionals should have been the first line of defense against opioid abuse, but as alleged in today’s charges, instead of caring for their patients, they were drug dealers in white coats,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. “They hid behind their medical licenses to sell addictive, dangerous narcotics. This Office will do everything in its power to bring to justice anyone responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has taken so many lives.”
Sayegh, 64, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substance, health care fraud, making false statements and aggravated identity theft.
Klein, 47, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and 14 counts of distribution of controlled substance. Both men are facing decades in prison if convicted.
“From drug cartels to street distributors, law enforcement is targeting all levels of drug traffickers amidst the worst drug crisis in American history,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Hunt stated. “The worst villains in the fight against drug abuse are doctors whose criminal actions fuel addiction and overdoses.
"As a result of separate investigations from three DEA offices, five doctors, a pharmacist, a nurse practitioner and three associates have been arrested for their role in distributing millions of unnecessary oxycodone pills, allegedly.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill added, “our entire country is suffering through an opioid abuse crisis, and we need to do everything we can to save as many lives as possible. We need to help people from falling into a black hole of addiction and fatal overdoses.”
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