Two New York Men Charged with Allegedly Selling Fraudulent Oxycodone Prescriptions

February 21, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 17, 2012 released the following:

“NEWARK, NJ—Two New York men made their initial court appearances today after being arrested by federal agents last night for allegedly operating an oxycodone distribution network using counterfeit medical prescriptions, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jack E. Polo, (a/k/a “Spank”), 42, of Queens, N.Y., and Roland M. Sartori, 32, of Bellerose, N.Y., are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to distribute oxycodone. They were arrested last night at Sartori’s home by agents of the FBI. Both men made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court and were released on $50,000 unsecured bond, with their travel restricted to New York and New Jersey.

According to the criminal complaints:

Since at least November 2010, the defendants had access to blank prescription paper that was sent to a New York State medical facility. Using specialized printing equipment, they created oxycodone prescriptions in the names of fictitious patients. The defendants printed several different telephone numbers on the phony prescriptions and used a network of co-conspirators, posing as employees of various doctors’ offices, to answer calls to those numbers in case any pharmacies attempted to verify the prescriptions.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, and the New York Police Department, for the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana W. Chen of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Superseding Indictment Returned Against Pharmacist and Six Co-Conspirators for Alleged Distribution of Oxycodone; False Tax Returns

August 30, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 29, 2011 released the following:

“NEWARK, NJ—A 26-count superseding indictment was filed today against pharmacist Vincent Hsia, the proprietor of Lincoln Pharmacy Network, located in Edison, New Jersey, and six additional individuals, relating to the distribution of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The superseding indictment charges the following individuals with possessing with intent to distribute and conspiring to distribute oxycodone:

  • Vincent Hsia, 51, Flemington, New Jersey;
  • Ryan Otskey, 36, Lyndhurst, New Jersey;
  • Ivan Lugo, 34, Elizabeth, New Jersey;
  • Cheryle Sutter, 31, Carteret, New Jersey;
  • Keith Thompson, 33, Newark, New Jersey;
  • Gary Cross, 27, Roseland, New Jersey; and
  • Angelo Cifelli, 33, Nutley, New Jersey.

The superseding indictment further charges that Hsia filed false individual and corporate 2008 and 2009 tax returns. Specifically, the superseding indictment alleges that Hsia intentionally failed to report approximately $275,000 in income on his personal income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and 2009. In addition, Hsia allegedly misstated Lincoln Pharmacy’s corporate tax returns by intentionally failing to include more than $1.2 million in gross receipts earned by the pharmacy during the 2008 and 2009 tax years.

The superseding indictment was preceded by the filing of a criminal complaint, which was unsealed on April 6, 2010, charging Hsia and seven additional individuals with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Except for Hsia and Thompson, the original defendants have all pleaded guilty before the Honorable Susan D. Wigenton, United States District Judge, as follows:

  • Pasquale Pugliese, 35, Kenilworth, New Jersey (plea July 14, 2010);
  • Marc Calabria, 33, Nutley, New Jersey (plea September 15, 2010);
  • Michael Caviness, 50, Newark, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Thomas Giaimo, 29, Nutley, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Jason Caracappa, 31, Manalapan, New Jersey (plea October 12, 2010); and
  • John Dechiara, 20, Iselin, New Jersey (plea October 18, 2010);.

Finally, Edwin Martinez, 26, of Fords, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone before Judge Wigenton on April 27, 2011.

In addition, criminal complaints previously were filed in federal court against Otskey, Lugo, Sutter, Cross and Cifelli. Specifically, the complaint filed against Otskey, Mag. No. 10-3213 (PS), alleged that he obtained blank prescriptions from the High Mountain Health clinic in North Haledon, New Jersey, that were filled by Hsia for in excess of 61,000 oxycodone pills, which pills were subsequently redistributed. Similarly, the criminal complaint filed against Cross, Mag. No. 11-8055 (MCA), alleged that Cross obtained blank prescriptions from Town Medical Associates in Verona, New Jersey, which he and his co-conspirators used to purchase approximately 14,000 oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy. The criminal complaint filed against Sutter and Lugo, Mag. No. 10-3203 (PS), also alleged that they obtained oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy using prescriptions completed in the names of fictitious patients, and utilized a number of co-conspirators, including Pugliese and Martinez, to fill those fraudulent prescriptions. Finally, the criminal complaint filed against Cifelli, Mag. No. 10-4206 (CCC), alleged that he furthered the conspiracy by driving co-conspirators to Lincoln Pharmacy and otherwise assisting with the distribution of oxycodone.

Judge Wigenton previously set a trial date of October 4, 2011, in this matter.

The oxycodone distribution and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The tax charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell; Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; the Newark, Elizabeth, and Nutley, New Jersey police departments; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices for the investigation leading to today’s superseding indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony J. Mahajan of the Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Dr. Eugene Demczuk and Nicholas Cukier Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Distribute Oxycodone

August 12, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York on August 11, 2011 released the following:

“MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY CHARGES DOCTOR AND ASSOCIATE WITH ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTING OXYCODONE

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the arrests today of Dr. EUGENE DEMCZUK, a Brooklyn and New Jersey medical physician, and his associate NICHOLAS CUKIER with conspiring to distribute oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, for cash, without a legitimate medical purpose. DEMCZUK and CUKIER will be presented later today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge KEVIN NATHANIEL FOX.

According to the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

On numerous occasions from November 2010 to April 2011, DEMCZUK and CUKIER sold 30 mg prescriptions of oxycodone pills to an undercover FBI officer for $150 a prescription. Before providing the prescription, DEMCZUK did not perform a medical examination nor did he request additional medical information from the undercover officer. DEMCZUK also provided the undercover officer with prescriptions for other individuals.

Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller with a high potential for addiction and abuse. It is sold on the street as a substitute for heroin and other illegal drugs.

DEMCZUK, 66, of Livingston, New Jersey, and CUKIER, 24, of Edison, New Jersey, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and one count of distributing oxycodone.

Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD, and thanked the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement for their assistance in the investigation. He added that the investigation is continuing.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys RYAN P. POSCABLO and JESSICA ORTIZ are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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