A federal jury in Central Islip returned a guilty verdict this afternoon against Frank Parasmo, a medical doctor with an office in Deer Park, on 31 counts of unlawfully distributing oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription painkiller, and one count of unlawfully distributing hydrocodone without a legitimate medical purpose. The verdict followed four weeks of trial before United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack. When sentenced, Dr. Parasmo faces up to 20 years in prison.
Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), announced the verdict.
“By prescribing painkillers in the absence of any recognized medical need, the defendant not only betrayed his oath as a physician to do no harm, he also endangered the lives of vulnerable patients and contributed to the spread of the opioid epidemic by peddling dangerous drugs,” stated Acting United States Attorney Kasulis. “As today’s verdict demonstrates, this Office will continue to hold accountable medical professionals like the defendant who misuse their advanced education, specialized training and access to prescription painkillers to exploit drug dependency in our communities.”
“The egregious prescribing records detailed in court proceedings outlined clearly how the defendant disregarded his patients’ health, and instead, risked their lives while they suffered from substance abuse,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan. “There is no excuse for a doctor, an individual who is given great trust and responsibility, to put their patient’s lives and the public’s health, in jeopardy. I commend the DEA Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York for their diligent work throughout this investigation.”
As proven at trial, between January 2014 and December 2015, Dr. Parasmo provided prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to 18 of his patients without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of a professional medical practice. Parasmo issued prescriptions to patients who had just completed detox treatment in rehabilitation facilities, as well as patients who had just been discharged from the hospital following an overdose, In addition, Parasmo issued prescriptions to many patients he knew were taking illegal drugs or who he suspected were addicts. There is a significant risk of an overdose when oxycodone is taken with heroin and cocaine. From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Parasmo prescribed over 1.5 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills making him one of the top prescribers of the painkiller in New York State during that time period.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Long Island District Office Tactical Diversion Squad comprising agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Port Washington Police Department, and Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Maffei and Charles P. Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.
Great River, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-1 (JMA)
USAO - New York, Eastern;
Department of Health and Human Services OIG