A 73-year-old physician who practiced in Manhattan has been sentenced to 40 months jail for his involvement in a scheme lasting five years to illegally distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone. Joseph Olivieri, originally of Scranton, Pennsylvania, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
Announcing the Olivieri's sentence, Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, "Joseph Olivieri hid behind his medical license to sell addictive, dangerous narcotics. In doing so, he violated his oath to practice medicine for the sole purpose of improving his patients' health, and put peoples' lives at risk to line his own pockets."
While practicing in New York, Olivieri was involved in a five-year-long scheme. The operation focused on the illegal distribution of several controlled substances including oxycodone. During the course of the scheme, he was one among the 15 highest prescribers of opioids in the state.
Olivieri prescribed several controlled substances—being fully aware—to individuals who did not require them for any legitimate medical purposes. Among the prescribed drugs were potently addictive opioids such as morphine sulfate, oxycodone, and oxymorphone.
The moolah that Olivieri raked in during the scheme was substantial. He is said to have deposited over $1 million in cash into his bank accounts during the course of the scheme. The physician was paid in cash for every prescription, mostly by individuals who posed as "patients" to obtain them.
Co-conspirator Already Sentenced
Several of the "patients" were arranged by a co-defendant, Matthew Brady, who also made some of the payments to Olivieri. The 35-year-old resident of Staten Island, New York has already been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his part in the scheme. He was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances.
Brady has additionally been ordered to forfeit $100,000 and sentenced to supervised release for three years. In addition to his prison term, Olivieri has also been sentenced to three years of supervised release, along with the forfeiture of $500,000.