Smithtown Doctor Indicted For The Illegal Distribution Of Controlled Substances Without Legitimate Medical Need
Doctor Issues Prescription To Addicts And In Exchange For Sexual Favors
A federal grand jury indicted Smithtown, New York, doctor Mitchel Fagin this morning on charges that he illegally distributed oxycodone, methodone and alprazalom, highly addictive prescription pain medications.1 The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert at the United States Courthouse located in Central Islip, New York.
The charges were announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York.
Fagin surrendered this morning to the Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad, which is comprised of federal agents and officers of the Nassau County, Rockville Centre, and Port Washington police departments. The 12-count indictment and public filings allege that between May 2010 and September 2014, Fagin, a pain management doctor, issued mutltiple controlled substance prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose to individuals he knew were addicts. Fagin is also alleged to have issued controlled substance prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors from female patients. Fagin was previously investigated by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct resulting in at least one suspension of his medical license.
Acting United States Attorney Currie stated, “Dr. Fagin allegedly used his prescription-writing privileges not to heal, as was his duty, but to victimize vulnerable patients. Doctors who issue prescriptions without a legitimate medical need are violating the law and will be held accountable.” Mr. Currie extended his grateful appreciation to each of the law enforcement agencies for their assistance in this case.
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt stated, “As detailed in the indictment, Dr. Fagin’s house was a medicine chest for opioid addicts to fuel their addiction. Dr. Fagin allegedly abused his position as a medical practitioner and prescribed medications for non-medical needs. I commend the Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, for their diligent work throughout this investigation.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
This case is the latest in a series of federal prosecutions by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York as part of the Prescription Drug Initiative. In January 2012, this Office and the DEA, in conjunction with the five District Attorneys in this jurisdiction, the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, the New York City Police Department, and New York State Police, along with other key federal, state, and local government partners, launched the Prescription Drug Initiative to mount a comprehensive response to what the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic increase in the abuse of so-called opioid analgesics. So far, the Prescription Drug Initiative has brought over 160 federal and local criminal prosecutions, including the prosecution of 15 health care professionals, taken civil enforcement actions against a hospital, a pharmacy, and a pharmacy chain, removed prescription authority from numerous rogue doctors, and expanded information-sharing among enforcement agencies to better target and pursue drug traffickers. The Initiative also is involved in an extensive community outreach program to address the abuse of pharmaceuticals.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Lara Treinis Gatz is in charge of the prosecution.
Name: MITCHEL FAGIN
Residence: Smithtown, New York
1. The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.