Dr. David Brizer admits selling millions of dollars worth of Rx narcotics and underreporting his income taxes by nearly $500K, faces state prison time. Schneiderman: “Doctors who profit by feeding Rx drug crisis will be prosecuted”
PRESS RELEASE FROM NY AG’S OFFICE
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Dr. David Brizer on charges he sold prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful pain medications to drug dealers from his Rockland County and Midtown Manhattan offices. Brizer also admitted to illegally possessing controlled substances and underreporting his income by at least $490,000 on his New York State personal tax returns in 2010 and 2011. He faces a sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison.
“Instead of caring for the sick, Dr. Brizer used his medical license to place powerful addictive narcotics in the hands of drug dealers and feed a prescription drug epidemic that is devastating communities and families across New York,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will use every means available to prosecute doctors who feed this corrosive drug epidemic in order to line their own pockets.”
Brizer, 60, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty in Rockland County Court before Judge William K. Nelson to four felony charges, Criminal Sale of a Prescription of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree.
He admitted that between May 2011 and August 2012 he conspired to sell and sold prescriptions for up to 240 oxycodone pills and other painkillers to drug dealers and other individuals knowing there was no medical reason to dispense the drugs. He also admitted that as early as February 2010, he sold prescriptions to reputed drug dealer Franklin Walker.
Brizer charged his customers up to $300 each time he sold them prescriptions in the name of fake patients, ultimately selling prescriptions for several million dollars worth of pills. The doctor first sold prescriptions out of his Nyack office, at 48 Burd Street. More recently, he sold prescriptions out of his Manhattan office at 244 West 54th Street.
He also admitted to illegally possessing methylphenidate (speed) and failing to report at least $240,000 on his 2010 New York State Personal Income Tax Returns and at least $250,000 on his 2011 returns. As part of his plea agreement, Brizer will be required to pay $42,712 as restitution for the total in unpaid income taxes he owes for those two years. The Attorney General is recommending he serve 1 to 3 years in prison. Brizer’s sentencing is set for June 11.
Walker was arrested in December on drug possession charges and grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay thousands of dollars to pharmacies for narcotics he illegally obtained and resold. Walker, 52, of Westtown, faces up to nine years in prison. His case is pending.
In 2012, the New York State legislature unanimously passed Attorney General Schneiderman’s landmark Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP. I-STOP requires doctors to review a patient’s prescription drug history and update it in real time when writing prescriptions for certain controlled substances. Had such a system been in place at the time Brizer and his associates committed their crimes authorities could have more quickly detected these crimes.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the New York State Police; the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement; the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance; the Orange County District Attorney’s Office; the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office; and the Town of Clarkstown Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Regional Director Anne Jardine and Special Assistant Attorney General Christopher Borek of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and supervised by Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The investigation was conducted by Special Investigator Michael Mataraza, Special Investigator Timothy Connolly and Special Auditor Investigator Christopher Giacoia, who are supervised by Chief Regional Auditor John Regan, Supervising Special Investigator Paul Greenspan and Chief Investigator Thaddeus Fisher.