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Press Release

Court Of Appeals Affirms Conviction Of Former Physician

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

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U. S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the October 2013 jury conviction of John E. Maye, a licensed physician, for the unlawful distribution and dispensing of a controlled substance. The Court also affirmed the defendant’s 12 month prison sentence imposed by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.  

According to the Government’s trial evidence, between 2004 and 2006, Maye authorized nearly 10,000 prescriptions for medications such as Hydrocodone, Xanax, Loritab, Vicodin, Valium, and Ambien. The Government demonstrated that Maye issued the prescriptions using the internet, and without personally seeing an estimated 12,000 patients.  The Government showed that the defendant grossed approximately $1,100,000 through this activity.

In its decision, the Court said that there was sufficient evidence from which the jury could find that Maye did not act in “good faith.” The Court noted that Maye never conducted in-person examinations of patients, authorized prescriptions without obtaining or reviewing medical records, had extremely brief conversations with patients or no conversations at all, and did not make diagnoses prior to prescribing medication. The Court said that this was sufficient to show that Maye was not acting with “a reasonable belief as to proper medical practice.”

“While the vast majority of medical professionals conduct their practice according to legal and ethical standards of reasonable medical care, this case demonstrates that occasionally, a doctor may become nothing other than a drug dealer with a medical license,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This Office will continue to enforce all federal laws regardless of the title or educational achievement of the defendant.”

The conviction and sentencing were the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, and the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Russell Hermann.

Updated May 17, 2016