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Doc charged again with selling fake prescriptions

Oncologist Binod Singh, 40, is led out of

Oncologist Binod Singh, 40, is led out of the Third Precinct in Bay Shore for arraignment in Central Islip Criminal Court on charges of illegally selling prescriptions, March 26, 2010. Credit: James Carbone

The Bay Shore cancer doctor charged a second time with selling fake prescriptions ran a complex drug ring that pumped illegal narcotics into Suffolk County, federal authorities said at his arraignment Saturday.

The unlicensed oncologist, Binod Singh, 42, wrote oxycodone prescriptions on bogus pads and sold them for up to $1,800 in cash. His plan went as far as providing a phone number on the prescriptions that pharmacists could call with questions. When they did, Singh had subordinates answered the phone posing as medical office employees, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Canty.

"The defendant's scheme here was elaborate and far-reaching," Canty told Judge Robert Levy in federal court in Brooklyn as he argued against setting bail.

Canty said Singh prescribed painkillers using the Drug Enforcement Agency numbers of licensed physicians. He obtained the numbers illegally with the help of a 25-year-old computer expert, who was also arrested, and employed several others in his pill distribution operation.

After illegally obtaining prescription pads, authorities said Singh recruited criminals and drug addicts to work with him, providing names of individuals so he could produce the forged prescriptions.

Singh was arrested Friday night in his Oakwood Boulevard home. He is being held without bail in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Canty said Singh was a danger to the community and a flight risk because he has ties to India, where he is still authorized to practice medicine.

Steven Chen, 25, of Mastic Beach, was also arrested Friday. Authorities believe he printed out the paper on which the fraudulent prescriptions were written and helped retrieve the DEA numbers from the licensed physicians.

Chen is also being held, pending the outcome of a bail hearing Monday in federal court in Central Islip. Both men are facing charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

They were represented by court-appointed attorneys. No friends or family members were at the arraignment Saturday.

According to an affidavit submitted by a federal agent who was part of the recent undercover operation, Singh would sell the prescriptions calling for 120 to 180 pills of 30-milligram doses of oxycodone for between $1,200 and $1,800, and he accepted only cash as payment.

A confidential informant saw Singh complete a transaction at the kitchen table of a Bay Shore home, using DEA numbers of licensed physicians to prepare the fake prescriptions in exchange for cash. The informant also saw about $100,000 in cash on the table, the affidavit said.

In 2010, Singh was arrested when police stopped him for erratic driving. He was charged with criminal diversion of prescription medications, a misdemeanor, criminal sale of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated. His drunken driving charge was upgraded to a felony because he had been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was convicted on the charges and sentenced to 4 years in state prison. He was released in October.

A joint task force of police and agents had been tracking Singh since he was released, according to the affidavit.

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