DA: Man posed as psychologist, sold pot, too
A phony psychologist who sold marijuana to undercover investigators posing as his patients has been arrested along with his pot supplier, an Oyster Bay town employee, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said Thursday.
Adam M. Goldrusso, 45, of Huntington, who also went by the names Adam M. Russo, Adam M. Gold and Adam M. Gold-Russo, had been treating patients for "years" though he is not a licensed psychologist, Spota said.
Goldrusso told investigators he treated 150 to 200 patients, billing each an average of $150 an hour, Spota said.
"They thought they were receiving help for their hard-earned money," Spota said. "In reality, he was nothing but a fraud."
Goldrusso and his accused drug supplier, Michael Scappa-ticci, 44, of Melville, were arrested March 18. Each was charged with criminal sale of marijuana in the second degree. Goldrusso also was charged with unauthorized practice of a profession. Both entered not-guilty pleas. Goldrusso was released on his own recognizance; Scappaticci posted a $10,000 bond.
Jason Russo, a Bay Shore attorney, said his client and brother, Adam Goldrusso, will not discuss the matter.
"At this point, all I can tell you is that I am in the process of resolving the case with the DA's office," Russo said.
Scappaticci, who has worked for 22 years for the town of Oyster Bay, most recently in the highway department, could not be reached Thursday for comment.
The matter came to light when a handful of Goldrusso's former patients in 2012 filed complaints to the state. In February, Spota said his office became involved when a male investigator posing as a New York City correction officer told Goldrusso he needed a psychological evaluation before he could return to work. Goldrusso charged the undercover investigator $350 for the session, authorities said.
The undercover investigator and a female colleague, who posed as his wife, pretended they were having marital problems and sought help from Goldrusso, who charged the couple $150 an hour. The couple, former narcotics detectives, saw Goldrusso six times and during one session smelled marijuana in his home office. The couple asked if he could supply them and Goldrusso obliged, Spota said.
Authorities said Goldrusso twice sold the undercover investigators drugs, once charging them $1,600 for a quarter-pound of marijuana. The second time he charged them $6,000 for 1 1/4 pounds, but cheated and only delivered a pound, Spota said.
Both times, Spota said, the drugs were delivered to Goldrusso by Scappaticci.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said Scappaticci is working and his employment status depends on the outcome of the criminal case.
So far, Spota's office has identified about half a dozen of Goldrusso's former clients. Spota asked that anyone who was treated by Goldrusso call his agency at 631-853-5428.