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Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RUVIM KRUPKIN, a former New York state-licensed doctor, was sentenced yesterday to 120 months in prison for conspiring to distribute medically unnecessary oxycodone unlawfully. KRUPKIN pled guilty on September 24, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres, who also imposed yesterday’s sentence.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Dr. Ruvim Krupkin wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for millions of oxycodone pills. He ignored his patients’ serious medical needs and his medical training, instead turning his medical clinic in Brooklyn into a pill mill, where he doled out oxycodone prescriptions in exchange for cash. Krupkin put his own greed before his duties as a medical professional, and for that he will now spend a lengthy term in federal prison.”
According to the Indictment and other court documents, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
KRUPKIN, a former licensed internal medicine doctor with specialties in oncology and hematology, practiced at a medical office in Brooklyn. From 2006 to July 2017, KRUPKIN prescribed over four million oxycodone pills to individuals he knew had no legitimate medical need for the pills. KRUPKIN charged each patient $200 in cash for each visit, payable directly to him.
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 typically issued patients prescriptions for large doses of oxycodone. 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.
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KRUPKIN, 70, of Summit, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.
In addition to the prison term, KRUPKIN was sentenced to one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and forfeit $124,000.
In imposing yesterday’s sentence, Judge Torres said: “Krupkin had a moral and ethical obligation to do no harm. Instead, he prescribed staggering amounts of medically unnecessary pills of oxycodone. He capitalized on the pain and desperation of poor New Yorkers.”
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI-NYPD Health Care Fraud Task Force. Ms. Strauss 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 N. Rothman are in charge of the prosecution.