Fourteen doctors and employees were indicted with charges relating to issuing over 3,600 illegal prescriptions and dispensing drugs to hundreds of patients at multiple locations in the Philadelphia area, including one site in Bustleton.
The individuals were charged in connection with their employment at medical business Advanced Urgent Care, which has a location at 9432 Roosevelt Blvd. as well as locations in Bala Cynwyd, Montgomeryville and Willow Grove.
The indictment alleges that AUC medical providers illegally prescribed controlled substances such as opioid painkillers while ignoring signs that patients were abusing or selling the painkillers. AUC medical providers continued to prescribe the opioid painkillers even when patients tested positive for illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or Suboxone, or when they were tested negative for all drugs, suggesting they had been selling their pills instead of taking them.
AUC doctors and physicians allegedly offered members of the public “pain management” in exchange to an $80 to $140 office fee. The indictment states they issued the painkillers from January 2014 to August 2017, and that there were at least 3,678 illegal prescriptions for controlled substances that were issued.
AUC was owned and operated by Dr. Medhi Nikparvar-Fard, 49, of Penn Valley, Montgomery County. He was one of 13 people indicted in the first charge. Elkins Park resident Dr. Avrom Brown, 70, was also among those indicted.
Each defendant is charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises, and several are charged with conspiring to unlawfully distribute controlled substances.
Another indictment charged Dr. Murray Soss, 78, of Philadelphia and Dr. Frederick Reichle, 83, of Warrington with conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone outside the usual course of practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The indictment alleges Soss hired Reichle to write oxycodone prescriptions after his state medical license was suspended in April 2017.
Soss allegedly collected $2,500 in exchange for accepting a new patient for the sole purpose of that patient obtaining narcotics.
It also states Reichle provided oxycodone prescriptions to one of Soss’s patients without the patient being present, and that Soss distributed prescriptions to a patient for sexual favors.
The defendants face a range of penalties that include substantial prison time and fines.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced the charges in a news conference held Feb. 6 that featured the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s recent efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
“Our country is in the midst of a deadly drug epidemic, and our District is, in many ways, ground zero in combating this crisis,” McSwain said in a statement. “As alleged in these indictments, thousands of illegally prescribed pills flooded our streets because of the conduct of these defendants.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General; and the office of Personnel Management. They were assisted by the Pennsylvania Department of State; Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General; Abington Police Department; Easttown Township Police Department; and Philadelphia Police Department. ••