Orchard Park Pain Doctor Arrested; Charged With Using Patient Names Fraudulently To Obtain Controlled Substances
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dr. Paul Biddle, 53, of Amherst, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with obtaining controlled substances through fraud and identity theft. The drug charges carry a maximum possible term of four years in prison, while the identity theft charges carry a maximum possible term of five years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that Biddle is an anesthesiologist and pain management doctor who also operates a medical marijuana practice.
According to the complaint, in September 2017, federal agents reviewed information from the New York State Bureau of Controlled Substances/Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) regarding prescriptions issued by the defendant. The review showed that Biddle was prescribing controlled substances for 23 of his patients through a pharmacy in Tampa, Florida. Such prescriptions, which were paid for without using insurance, were sent directly to the defendant’s home address in Amherst or his office in Orchard Park, NY. Between November 11, 2013, to October 16, 2017, Biddle wrote and received a total of 888 prescriptions for controlled substances in this manner from the Tampa pharmacy. The prescriptions were for opioids including hydromorphone HCL, fentanyl citrate, and morphine sulfate. Two of the 23 patients for whom defendant wrote the prescriptions were already deceased at the time that defendant wrote a combined total of 33 separate controlled substance prescriptions for them.
Evidence obtained from Dr. Biddle’s trash suggest that the opioids he was fraudulently receiving, as well as marijuana, were being used unlawfully at his home.
The defendant made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released, with the express condition that he not practice medicine or be permitted to write prescriptions pending his next court appearance on November 27, 2017.
“The harm caused by drug addiction, particularly opioids knows no boundaries,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “From LeRoy Avenue to LeBrun Drive and from Olcott to Orchard Park, lives across our region are being ruined, and even lost, every day as a result of opioid addiction. Sadly, it appears that Dr. Biddle used his medical license as a license both to steal his patient information and to divert drugs to himself. Today’s arrest reminds us that no one is immune from the deleterious impact of drug addiction.”
The complaint is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Western New York Healthcare Fraud Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen; the New York State Department of Financial Services, under the direction of Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent of Financial Services; Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Scott Lampert; and the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.