Dr. David Brizer, a psychiatrist practicing in Manhattan and Rockland County who was indicted on drug charges last month, has pleaded guilty to four felony charges for illegally possessing controlled substances and selling them out of his offices to drug dealers, and to underreporting his income, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today. The attorney general is recommending one to three years in prison when Brizer is sentenced June 11.
The 60-year-old doctor, who lives in Manhattan, admitted that he conspired to sell and sold prescriptions for up to 240 oxycodone pills and other painkillers to drug dealers and other individuals, knowing there was no medical reason to give out the drugs. Those sales took place between May 2011 and August 2012. He also admitted that he sold prescriptions to reputed drug dealer Franklin Walker, 52, of Westtown, Orange County as early as February 2010.
Brizer charged customers up to $300 each time he sold the prescriptions, and they were in the name of fake patients. The total value of the prescriptions was several million dollars, the attorney general said. The doctor first sold the pills out of his Nyack office at 48 Burd St. More recently, he made the sales out of his 244 West 54th St. office in Manhattan.
The plea deal also included Brizer’s admission that he underreported his income by at least $490,000 in New York in 2010 and 2011, Schneiderman said. He will be required to pay $42,712 in restitution for unpaid income taxes. He also admitted to illegally possessing methylphenidate (speed).
“Instead of caring for the sick, Dr. Brizer used his medical license to place powerful addictive narcotics in the hands of drug dealers and feed a prescription drug epidemic that is devastating communities and families across New York,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “My office will use every means available to prosecute doctors who feed this corrosive drug epidemic in order to line their own pockets.”
Brizer, who was indicted in February on 55 felony charges of selling narcotics to drug dealers, pleaded guilty in Rockland County Court to criminal sale of a prescription of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal tax fraud and fourth-degree conspiracy.
Walker was arrested in December on charges of drug possession and grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay thousands of dollars to pharmacies for narcotics he obtained illegally and resold. His cases is pending, and he faces up to nine years in prison.