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Press Release

Manhattan Doctor Pleads Guilty To Illegally Distributing Oxycodone And Other Drugs

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

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH OLIVIERI, a physician who practiced in Manhattan, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty to participating in a conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone and other controlled substances.  OLIVIERI’s co-defendant MATTHEW BRADY pled guilty on April 30, 2019, to his role in the conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted today, Joseph Olivieri violated his oath to practice medicine for the sole purpose of improving his patients’ health and instead hid behind his medical license to sell addictive, dangerous narcotics.  He put his peoples’ lives at risk to line his own pockets.  He now faces time in prison for his crimes.”

According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings:

OLIVIERI, a physician who practiced in New York, New York, participated in a five-year-long scheme to divert oxycodone and other controlled substances for illicit use.  OLIVIERI was one of the top 15 prescribers of opioids in New York State during much of the diversion scheme.  He prescribed over 250,000 pills of controlled substances, including highly addictive opioids such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, and morphine sulfate, to individuals he knew did not have a legitimate medical need for them.  OLIVIERI was paid in cash for these prescriptions, often by other individuals, including co-defendant MATTHEW BRADY, who arranged with OLIVIERI for individuals posing as “patients” to obtain the prescriptions from OLIVIERI, and then collected the pills for their unlawful re-sale.  Financial records show that OLIVIERI deposited more than $1 million in cash into his bank accounts during the scheme.

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OLIVIERI, 72, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  OLIVIERI is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on August 5, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.

BRADY, 34, of Staten Island, New York, pled guilty on April 30, 2019, also before Judge Crotty, to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  BRADY is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on July 30, 2019, at 11:30 a.m.

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the defendants’ sentences will be determined by Judge Crotty.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tara La Morte, Robert B. Sobelman, and Daniel C. Richenthal are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated May 2, 2019

Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 19-137