A Great Neck doctor was charged with illegally distributing oxycodone prescriptions in exchange for cash, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
Dr. Roya Jafari-Hassad, 56, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and pleaded not-guilty to the 18-count indictment that included a charge of witness tampering, officials said. Jafari-Hassad allegedly prescribed more than 1,000 pills to a pair of patients between August 2020 and January 2022, according to court documents.
The prescriptions, officials said, “had no legitimate medical purpose” and the cash payments Jafari-Hassad allegedly received were in addition to her charging the patient’s insurance for the prescriptions. Officials believe Jafari-Hassad profited more than hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the cash payments from patients.
“As alleged, the defendant abandoned her medical oath to operate a pill mill in Nassau County, illegally dispensing oxycodone to patients for a cash fee,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted an 18-month investigation into the Great Neck-based doctor from Bayside, officials said, and used an undercover agent posing as a patient to obtain the prescriptions from Jafari-Hassad. The undercover agent received oxycodone prescriptions from Jafari-Hassad at every visit, including the first one, officials said.
“Health care professionals have a duty to prescribe medication responsibly to ensure the well-being of their patients. Failing to do so puts the health and safety of patients at risk and undermines critical measures to address the opioid epidemic,” Acting Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Susan A. Frisco said.
Upon further investigation through a search warrant executed at Jafari-Hassad’s Great Neck office, officials said, the doctor reached out to patients and convinced them to modify their testimony about the fraudulent prescriptions she provided them. The doctor was reportedly released on $500,000 bail Wednesday, according to Newsday.
Her attorney, Bruce Barket, told Newsday that the Great Neck medical practice on Bond Street will remain open and said the charges against her are “allegations and not proven facts.”
“A prescription pad in the wrong hands can be a deadly weapon,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said in a statement. “The diversion of prescription medication is inexcusable for medical professionals and I applaud the hard work by DEA and our law enforcement partners who brought these charges against Dr. Jafari-Hassad.”