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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2016

Rochester Physician Assistant Pleads Guilty To Dispensing Oxycodone Outside The Scope Of Professional Practice

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Jeffrey C. Leathersich, 50, of Lima, NY, pleaded guilty to two counts of dispensing a controlled substance outside the scope of professional practice before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.

“By abusing his medical licensing privilege, this defendant became nothing less than a drug dealer in a medical lab coat,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.  “Given the extreme number of fatalities associated with heroin and opioid overdoses in our area, the public should be assured that we will continue to pursue and prosecute all who would engage in the illegal distribution of these substances, regardless of title or position.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Sherman, who is handling the case, stated that between October 2013 and March 2016, the defendant was a Registered Physician Assistant practicing at New Genesis Center for Medical Weight Loss and Cosmetic Medicine at 3300 Monroe Avenue in Rochester, NY. Leathersich was licensed under New York State law and had a Drug Enforcement Administration Certificate of Registration authorizing him to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. The defendant has been licensed as a Physician Assistant since 1995, been practicing cosmetic medicine since 2004, and, in 2010, also began practicing bariatric medicine.

Between October 2013 and December 2015, Leathersich maintained a social relationship with an individual identified as Patient A. During that time period, the defendant provided Patient A with 16 prescriptions for oxycodone, totaling approximately 30 grams, outside the scope of his professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Between July 2015 and March 2016, Leathersich maintained a social relationship with an individual identified as Patient B. During that time period, the defendant provided Patient B with nine prescriptions for oxycodone, totaling approximately 26 grams, outside the scope of his professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication. As a narcotic with a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, oxycodone is listed by the Attorney General as a Schedule II controlled substance.

As a result of this investigation, Leathersich signed a Voluntary Surrender of Controlled Substances Privileges form on May 9, 2016, with the Drug Enforcement Administration and is no longer authorized to prescribe controlled substances.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 22, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.

Updated June 6, 2016