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Press Release

Doctor Sentenced To 12.5 Years In Prison For Illegally Distributing Oxycodone From Midtown Manhattan Practice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
On February 13, 2023, Adelglass’s Former Office Manager, Marcello Sansone, was Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that HOWARD ADELGLASS was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff to 150 months in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to illegally prescribe oxycodone.  ADELGLASS was convicted in November 2022 following a two-week trial before Judge Rakoff. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “For years, Howard Adelglass illegally prescribed enormous quantities of highly addictive and deadly opioids to people he knew were suffering from substance abuse disorders or were dealers.  By monetizing his prescription pad and distributing mammoth quantities of oxycodone pills for no legitimate medical purpose, Adelglass practiced as a drug dealer, not a doctor.  Adelglass did not simply betray his medical oath; he destroyed lives and families and helped fuel the opioid epidemic gripping the nation.  Today’s sentence makes clear that this Office and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to hold responsible those who have contributed to the national opioid crisis no matter their professional stature.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, the evidence offered at trial, and matters included in public filings:

HOWARD ADELGLASS was a licensed physician.  Together with his office manager, MARCELLO SANSONE, he operated a pain-management clinic located in Midtown Manhattan (the “Clinic”).  The Clinic serviced purported patients seeking oxycodone and other pain-relief medications commonly diverted for illicit purposes.  In exchange for cash payments, sex acts, and cocaine, ADELGLASS wrote thousands of prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone, many to individuals whom ADELGLASS knew did not need the pills for a legitimate medical purpose.  When they occurred, ADELGLASS’s examinations were perfunctory.  ADELGLASS's purported patients included individuals addicted to opioids and, in some cases, individuals who sold the oxycodone on the street.  Even when faced with clear evidence of his purported patients’ drug abuse and diversion, ADELGLASS continued to prescribe large quantities of oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the scope of professional practice.

Initially, ADELGLASS staffed the Clinic with inexperienced young women, some of whom he caused to be addicted to oxycodone through illegal prescriptions.  Around October 2018, after serving as a primary source of patient referrals, SANSONE took over as the Clinic’s office manager.  In that role, SANSONE helped to control access to ADELGLASS and the lucrative prescriptions he wrote for medically unnecessary oxycodone.  With particularly vulnerable patients, ADELGLASS and SANSONE solicited and, in some instances, received sex acts in exchange for illegal oxycodone prescriptions.

Between in or about November 2017 and in or about September 2020, ADELGLASS prescribed more than 1.3 million oxycodone pills. 

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In addition to their prison terms, ADELGLASS, 67, of New York, New York, and SANSONE, 37, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, were each sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York City Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas W. Chiuchiolo, Marguerite B. Colson, and Daniel G. Nessim are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated March 8, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-092