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Press Release

Doctor Sentenced to 38 Months for Unlawful Drug Distribution and Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Scott McMahon, age 52, of Clifton Park, New York, was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for distributing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose, and to misusing personal information in the course of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances.                                                                                                            

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered McMahon to forfeit $6,774.76, and to serve a 3-year term of supervised release. 

Today, McMahon also agreed to surrender his New York State medical license, as well as his DEA registration that had allowed him to prescribe controlled substances.  McMahon has been in custody since September 10, 2020. 

In 2019, McMahon had a medical practice in Clifton Park, having previously maintained offices in Albany and other locations in the Capital Region. He specialized in psychiatry and addiction treatment.

In pleading guilty, McMahon admitted that from at least December 2018 through August 2019, he provided certain patients with prescriptions for the Schedule II controlled substance methylphenidate – the generic of Ritalin – with the intent of having them kick back a portion of each prescription to him for his own personal use.  As part of the scheme, McMahon obtained the names and birthdates of the children of a patient. McMahon used that information to issue methylphenidate prescriptions in the children’s names.  The patient picked up these prescriptions in his children’s names, and split the methylphenidate with McMahon.

In a separate civil case brought by the United States, McMahon agreed to pay $43,225.24 to settle claims arising from his improper prescribing of ketamine and failure to keep proper records of ketamine treatment.

In the civil case, McMahon admitted that he improperly prescribed ketamine intranasal spray to an individual who had no legitimate medical need for it.  A sampling of McMahon’s records showed that he failed to record the amount of ketamine injected for each patient on each treatment date, the name of each patient who was injected, and the person who injected the ketamine.  McMahon also failed to conduct an initial inventory when he began dispensing ketamine. 

The criminal case was investigated by the DEA Albany District Office’s Tactical Diversion Squad and its Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett. 

The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad also investigated the civil case, in which Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Moran represented the United States.

Also assisting in the investigations were the New York State Police, the New York State Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and the DEA Resident Office in Burlington, Vermont.


Updated May 14, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Identity Theft