A doctor who lives in Woodmere allegedly sold phony prescriptions for painkillers out of his office in Brooklyn, according to an indictment unveiled Tuesday.
Shaikh Monirul Hasan, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has been licensed to practice medicine since 1995, was arrested at 11 a.m. Tuesday at his Sunset Park office. He is charged with 32 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, a class C felony. Each count carries a maximum sentence of five and a half years in prison. Bail was set at $2 million at Hasan's arraignment on Tuesday.
“Dr. Hasan abused his medical license by using his prescription pad to flood Brooklyn streets with highly addictive oxycodone pills,” said New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “Hasan was arrested after NYPD detectives found that he was subsidizing his Sunset Park medical practice by writing prescriptions in the name of patients he never met and then selling the prescription to a third party.”
Detectives eventually learned that for years Hasan was prescribing a “high volume” of prescriptions for highly addictive opioid painkillers, in some cases writing up to 100 prescriptions for controlled substances in a single day, according to officials. The pattern “was unusual for a family medical practitioner.”
After a search of Hasan’s office, his Harold Road home in Woodmere and a safe deposit box at the Capital One Bank in Hewlett on Tuesday, officials seized electronic and paper records, approximately $150,000 in cash and several one-ounce gold bars. An estimated $20,000 in gold was seized from his home. Hasan had about $1,100 cash on him at the time of his arrest.
According to the indictment, Hasan allegedly prescribed 3,840 oxycodone pills in the name of a woman who never visited him. She was unaware that prescriptions for the painkiller were being filled in her name, officials said.
The woman told detectives that she had lost an identification card issued by a local college in late 2009. She also pointed that the last letter of her last name was missing on the card. This same misspelling was repeated on each of the 32 prescriptions written by Hasan for 120 oxycodone pills in the woman’s name, officials said.
Further, on April 18, an undercover detective videotaped Hasan write a prescription for 120 30 mg oxycodone pills in the woman’s name, according to a press release. The prescription was then sold to a male patient for $80.
Hasan allegedly wrote prescriptions in the names of people he had never met or treated based on identification cards brought in by his actual patients, officials said. Officials believe Hasan dispensed up to 700 oxycodone pills per month to a single individual.
Many of the narcotics pills that pharmacies dispensed based on Hasan’s prescriptions ended up being sold illegally on the street, according to investigators. The street value of the drugs in the indictment amount to about $75,000.
The more than one-year investigation culminated in an indictment filed by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Prescription Drug Investigation Unit. Officials are still looking into the sales of prescriptions to other patients and into Hasan’s insurance, Medicaid and Medicare billing practices.
“It is rare to come across a physician who so blatantly and callously uses a hard-earned medical license to dispense prescriptions to phantom patients in exchange for a fee,” said Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor. “This type of criminal activity by a member of the medical profession will not be tolerated.”