Revere Doctor Charged with Writing Illicit Prescriptions
JUL 14 -- BOSTON, July 13, 2010—A Middleton man who allegedly wrote prescriptions for powerful painkillers and sedatives in exchange for cash payments was held on $50,000 cash bail today following his arrest by local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, announced Special Agent in Charge Steven W. Derr and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
LEONARD FRIEDMAN (D.O.B. 9/3/36) was arrested by Middleton Police, State Police, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents at his home today on a Suffolk Superior Court warrant stemming from his indictment on 14 separate counts of issuing an invalid prescription. The indictments charge Friedman with writing seven prescriptions for Class B substances and seven prescriptions for Class C substances during the course of the 14-month investigation, usually at his office on Broadway in Revere.
“A doctor who trades addictive drugs for cash makes a mockery of the Hippocratic Oath,” Conley said. “If you’ve ever wondered how powerful prescription painkillers make their way to the street, this case provides the disturbing answer.”
“A license to prescribe is not a license to deal, and that’s precisely what Dr. Friedman is alleged to have done in this case,” said Steven W. Derr, DEA special agent in charge for New England. “Whether a trafficker wears a white lab coat and sells drugs from a medical office, or wears street clothes and deals from a street corner, DEA and our law enforcement partners will pursue them. I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of District Attorney Conley and his office for their outstanding work in this investigation.”
Friedman was carrying a handgun in an ankle holster at the time of his arrest. Several additional firearms were recovered from his home, authorities said.
Penalties for writing invalid prescriptions for controlled substances are identical to the penalties for distributing those substances, Conley said. Distribution of a Class B substance is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and distribution of a Class C substance is punishable by up to five years in prison.
In what prosecutors called a “cash-only business,” Friedman allegedly wrote multiple prescriptions for Percocet or Roxicet, both Class B painkillers, and Valium, a Class C sedative, to an undercover DEA agent even when the agent presented without any symptoms that would warrant the highly addictive substances. Friedman allegedly charged $300 in cash for an initial consultation with two prescriptions – one for Roxicet and one for Valium – and $200 in cash for subsequent consultations with Percocet and Valium prescriptions. Most of the transactions were at Friedman’s office, but the undercover agent visited Friedman’s home on two occasions.
Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Bucci, chief of Conley’s Narcotics Unit, told Suffolk Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Connie Wong that Friedman first came to authorities’ attention because he was prescribing Oxycodone at a rate “20 times higher than other doctors in his practice group.”
At Bucci’s request, Wong ordered Friedman to surrender his passport. If he posts bail, Wong ordered, he must not leave the United States, must wear a GPS monitoring device, and must not obtain any firearms.
Friedman was represented today by attorney Ingrid Martin. He will return to court on Aug. 12.