Dr. David Brizer, a psychiatrist who practices in Rockland and Manhattan, was indicted in Rockland County Court today on 55 charges of selling prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful pain medications to drug dealers from his offices, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today. He is also charged with illegally possessing controlled substances and underreporting his income to the state by at least $500,000 in 2010 and 2011.
Brizer was arraigned on two top counts of criminal tax fraud; 34 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance; 15 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance; two counts of offering a false instrument for filing; and scheme to defraud and conspiracy charges. All are felony counts, and Brizer faces up to seven years in prison.
Brizer, 60, who lives in Manhattan, is accused of selling prescriptions for controlled substances between February 2010 and August 2012. Schneiderman said Brizer would charge customers up to $300 each time he sold them prescriptions and illegally sold presriptions for several million dollars worth of pills. He first sold prescriptions out of his Nyack office at 48 Burd St. More recently, he sold them from his Manhattan office at 244 West 54th St, according to the attorney general.
“Instead of saving lives, Dr. Brizer used his position to supply drug dealers and feed a prescription drug epidemic that is devastating families across our state. The message is clear – whether you are a doctor or a criminal on the street, my office will prosecute those profiting off the cycle of abuse,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “This office will use every tool at our disposal to bring criminal charges against those who line their own pockets by fueling dangerous addictions and illegally trafficking in prescription narcotics.”
The indictment states that Brizer sold prescriptions to reputed drug dealer Franklin Walker of Westtown, Orange County, among others. With the prescriptions, Walker, 52, was able to obtain as many as 240 oxycodone pills at a time. Walker was arrested in December on drug possession charges and grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay thousands of dollars to pharmacies for narcotics he obtained illegally and resold. Walker faces nine years in prison.
Schneiderman said his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit worked the state Department of Health’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and the Department of Taxation and Finance executed search warrants at Brizer’s Manhattan residents and offices. The Medicaid unit also worked with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to seize documents from a Fort Lee residence where Brizer previously lived.