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Press Release

Physician Charged with 28 Additional Counts in Selling Opioid Prescriptions for Cash

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Maryland Defendant Charged in Superseding Indictment Practiced in Northwest

            WASHINGTON -- Ndubuisi Joseph Okafor, M.D., 64, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was charged in U.S. District Court yesterday on a 29-count count superseding indictment for illegally distributing prescriptions for narcotics in exchange for cash. According to court documents, Okafor allegedly distributed oxycodone and promethazine with codeine to individuals outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose from his medical practice in Washington, D.C.

            As part of the conspiracy as charged in the superseding indictment, Okafor would distribute controlled substance prescriptions to co-conspirators whom he knew to be abusing or diverting the medication, in names and addresses requested by his co-conspirators, even when he knew the names or addresses were false. Okafor is alleged to have distributed dangerous and highly addictive controlled substances via medically unnecessary prescriptions to co-conspirators in at least 37 states nationwide and had knowledge that co-conspirators were traveling from the Washington, D.C. metro area to states as far as California, Florida, and Maine to have these illicit prescriptions filled. As part of the conspiracy, Okafor was paid in cash by his co-conspirators for each prescription issued. In addition to the charge of conspiracy, Okafor stands charged with maintaining a drug involved premises, and 26 counts of controlled substance distribution. These 26 counts include distributions to co-conspirators, an actual patient, and undercover law enforcement sources.

            The charges were announced April 11, 2024, by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Assistant Director David Sundberg of the Washington Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon, of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General for the District of Columbia, and Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Division.

            Okafor was previously indicted in March 2023 for distribution of controlled substances outside the legitimate practice of medicine. The superseding indictment unsealed yesterday charges Okafor with a total of 29 counts.

            If convicted, Okafor faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the DC-Office of Inspector General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The Drug Enforcement Administration Washington Division provided valuable assistance and served an Immediate Suspension Order (ISO) on Okafor’s DEA registration because it was determined that he posed an imminent danger to public health and safety due to the volume of unlawful distribution of opioids.  

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Mayer-Dempsey and Trial Attorney Kathryn Furtado of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section.

            An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated April 12, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 24-326