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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Manhattan Doctor Sentenced To Prison For Illegally Distributing Oxycodone And Other Drugs

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH OLIVIERI, a physician who practiced in Manhattan, was sentenced to 40 months in prison for participating in a scheme to illegally distribute oxycodone and other controlled substances.  OLIVIERI previously pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty, who also imposed today’s sentence.  Matthew Brady, OLIVIERI’s co-defendant, was previously sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in the same scheme.

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

According to the Superseding Indictment, public 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 illegally distribute oxycodone and other controlled substances.  OLIVIERI was one of the top 15 prescribers of opioids in New York State during much of the 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 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.  OLIVIERI deposited more than $1 million in cash into his bank accounts during the scheme.

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OLIVIERI, 73, 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.  In addition to the prison term, OLIVIERI was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $500,000.

Brady, 35, of Staten Island, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances.  In addition to the prison term, Brady was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $100,000.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department, 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.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
20-117
Updated May 28, 2020