You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Doctor Charged In Manhattan Federal Court For Illegal Distribution Of Oxycodone Pills

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”),  announced the unsealing of an indictment charging RUVIM KRUPKIN, a New York state-licensed doctor, with writing medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone over at least an 11-year period.  KRUPKIN is expected to be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang later today.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Analisa Torres.    

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, for more than a decade, as the nationwide opioid crisis mushroomed and left death and destruction in its wake, Ruvim Krupkin wrote thousands of medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone.  He allegedly charged $200 per prescription.  Now he will learn the true cost of his alleged crime.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney said:  “While society continues to grapple with a solution to end the plague of drug addiction throughout this country, Ruvim Krupkin, as alleged, was complicit in prescribing medically unnecessary doses of oxycodone pills to patients under his care.  Those with access to a now-virtual prescription pad carry a heavy responsibility to uphold the ethics of their profession.  Those who don’t will be held accountable.”  

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “As alleged, the doctor who’s charged in this case not only broke the law, he betrayed his oath and his ethical obligations for millions in personal profit – and he did this at a time when the nation and our city was in the throes of an opioid epidemic.  I want to thank the investigators who worked to bring federal charges in this case.  Whether you purport to be a medical professional or you’re a street-level drug dealer, the NYPD and its law enforcement partners will find you and hold you accountable.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in federal court:[1]

From in or about 2006 up to and including July 2017, RUVIM KRUPKIN wrote prescriptions resulting in the unlawful distribution of more than four million oxycodone pills to individuals he knew had no legitimate medical need for this medication.  In exchange for writing these medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions, KRUPKIN received over $3.8 million in cash payments.

During the time period charged in the Indictment, KRUPKIN was an internal medicine doctor with specialties in oncology and hematology.  KRUPKIN practiced out of a medical office located in Coney Island, New York.  As a hematologist, KRUPKIN treated patients who had, or claimed to have, sickle cell anemia – a medical condition that can cause pain for which oxycodone, in conjunction with other treatments – may be legitimately prescribed.  However, KRUPKIN wrote thousands of prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone to patients, knowing that they in fact had no legitimate medical need for the prescriptions.  KRUPKIN generally performed little to no physical examination on these patients; indeed, the medical notes for each patient were largely the same from one visit to the next.  KRUPKIN charged each patient $200 in cash for each visit, payable directly to him. 

Notwithstanding having performed little to no physical examination of the patients, KRUPKIN typically issued them prescriptions for a large dose of oxycodone – typically 180 80-milligram pills, until approximately 2010, when the formula for oxycodone changed, reducing the street value of the 80-milligram pills.  At that time, KRUPKIN began prescribing 180 or 240 30-milligram pills.  KRUPKIN’s patients filled their prescriptions at pharmacies throughout New York, and in certain cases, sold the oxycodone pills they received to drug dealers, who in turn re-sold the pills at high value on the street.  KRUPKIN knew that certain of his patients were diverting the oxycodone pills he was prescribing, but he nonetheless continued writing prescriptions of oxycodone for such individuals. 

*                *                *

KRUPKIN, 68, of Summit, New Jersey, is charged with one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI-NYPD Health Care Fraud Task Force.  Mr. Berman also thanked the New York City Human Resources Administration for its work on the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tara M. La Morte and Alexandra Rothman are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 
19-300
Updated September 17, 2019