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Wayne Psychiatrist Pleads Guilty to Illegally Selling Oxycodone Prescriptions to Patients

NEWARK - Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced Dr. Priscilla Ilem admitted today to illegally selling oxycodone prescriptions from her Wayne office.

Ilem, 85, of Wayne, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden federal court to Information charging her with distribution of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Law enforcement received information that Ilem was selling prescriptions out of the office she maintained in her Wayne residence. During June and July 2011, at Walgreens pharmacy alone, 291 prescriptions for oxycodone were filled, which had been issued by Dr. Ilem. On several occasions in July 2011, Ilem was visited by several undercover law enforcement officers posing as patients. On each occasion, Ilem provided these undercover officers with a prescription for oxycodone in exchange for a sum of money, without performing any medical examination.

Ilem admitted that between June 2011 and August 2011, she wrote an inordinately large amount of oxycodone prescriptions for patients that were medically unnecessary and outside the scope of common medical practice, in exchange for money. Ilem also admitted that she failed to give patients proper physical examinations before issuing prescriptions and prescribed oxycodone at intervals inconsistent with legitimate medical treatment. Ilem affirmed that in her medical opinion, there was an absence of a logical relationship between the oxycodone she prescribed and the patients’ alleged condition.

The distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $1 million fine. As part of her guilty plea, Ilem agreed to forfeit $500,000 in illegal proceeds to the federal government. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Dec. 18, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell; and the Wayne Police Department, headed by Chief John Reardon, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam N. Subervi and Anthony Mahajan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.



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