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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 8, 2021

Cardiologist Admits Unlawfully Distributing Thousands of Oxycodone Pills

NEWARK, N.J. – A New Jersey cardiologist today admitted unlawfully prescribing thousands of Oxycodone pills, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Raymond Catania, 59, of Warren, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with dispensing Oxycodone outside of the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

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

Catania was a New Jersey physician specializing in cardiology and practicing in Watchung, New Jersey. From January 2016 through March 2017, Catania issued prescriptions for thousands of Oxycodone pills to one of his patients, and Catania did so without a legitimate medical purpose and outside of the usual course of professional practice. Catania also issued prescriptions for thousands of Oxycodone pills to that patient’s wife even though the wife was not Catania’s patient. Oxycodone – a Schedule II controlled substance – has a high potential for abuse that can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence and can result in fatal overdoses. Catania prescribed more than 8,600 Oxycodone 30 mg pills.

Catania faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 14, 2021. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar J. Benvenuto of the Health Care Fraud Unit, and Leslie F. Schwartz, Senior Litigation Counsel, of the Special Prosecutions Division, in Newark.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-085
Updated March 8, 2021