Feds seize nearly $1M from doc's accounts

Dr. Eric Jacobson, whose Great Neck office was Dr. Eric Jacobson, whose Great Neck office was raided in December 2011 by federal agents, was arrested in June 2012 on charges of illegally distributing prescription drugs. (Dec. 1, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Federal agents seized close to $1 million Wednesday from three bank accounts of a Great Neck doctor, Eric Jacobson, who was arrested three weeks ago on charges of illegally distributing oxycodone.

Jacobson, who authorities suspect may have supplied pain pills to Medford pharmacy killer David Laffer, made the seized money off painkiller prescriptions he dispensed illegally from his office, according to court papers filed late Wednesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Treinis in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.

Jacobson's attorney, John Martin of Great Neck, said Wednesday that he plans to contest the seizure, and that his client has not done anything illegal.

Martin filed court papers in Central Islip Wednesday arguing that his client should be released on bail and was the victim of discrimination.

Physicians accused of far worse dealings "where the alleged criminal conduct was more egregious and the government's case was far stronger" have been granted bail, Martin wrote in the court papers.

Jacobson has been held without bail as a danger to the community since his arrest.

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Martin cited the cases of Dr. Leonard Stambler of Baldwin Harbor and Dr. Frank Telang of Port Jefferson Station. Stambler was arrested in December, accused of the illegal sale of painkiller prescriptions from his front porch and his car.

He was released from jail on $750,000 bail days later.

Telang, also arrested in December, was charged with illegally prescribing oxycodone and other drugs from his office and a parking lot along the Long Island Expressway.

He was later released on $350,000 bail.

The order authorizing the seizure of the money in Jacobson's bank accounts was signed by U.S. Magistrate A. Kathleen Tomlinson.

In the request for the order, a federal agent said that Jacobson collected $12,000 to $20,000 in cash on the Tuesdays and Thursdays when his Great Neck office was open.

An unidentified source working in Jacobson's office told the agent that each time about $1,000 in cash had been taken in from patients, "the money was sealed in an envelope and given to Jacobson."

At the end of the day, Jacobson "would place all of the envelopes inside a tan briefcase" and leave, the source said.

Seized money is held pending the outcome of a trial.

If Jacobson were convicted, the money would be forfeited to the government.

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