former city pharmacist Charged in drug Conspiracy
PHILADELPHIA - An indictment was unsealed today charging Arlene Gerson, 46, of Philadelphia, with abusing her position as a pharmacist to conspire with Jeffrey Handy, 33, of Norristown, PA, in the illegal distribution of oxycodone, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Gerson and Handy were arrested this morning by the FBI.
Gerson was working as a pharmacist at various locations, including a health clinic run by the City of Philadelphia known as Health Center #5. According to the indictment, Gerson used that position to access blank prescription pads, doctors’ identification information, patient identification information, and patient health insurance information in creating phony prescriptions. Gerson, Handy, or one of their associates then took the false prescription to a pharmacy to be filled. Gerson and Handy then allegedly sold a portion of the controlled substances for a profit. Handy, it is alleged, also contributed blank prescription pads for the scheme and recruited several friends and associates to take the false prescription to a pharmacy to be filled. Handy allegedly paid his recruits in cash and controlled substances.
Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Gerson is also charged with attempted distribution of oxycodone. Handy is also charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.
If convicted of all charges, Gerson and Handy face a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a $2 million fine.
The case was investigated by FBI, the Philadelphia Office of Inspector General, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525