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In reversal, court sets bail for accused pill doc

Dr. Anand Persaud, who is accused of pocketing

Dr. Anand Persaud, who is accused of pocketing $1.4 million for painkiller prescriptions, is brought into Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola to be arraigned. (Aug. 2, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nassau County Court judge Friday reversed a lower-court ruling and set bail for a Baldwin doctor charged with illegally prescribing painkillers after state prosecutors acknowledged they erred earlier this week when they said the doctor has dual citizenship.

Nassau County Court Judge Angelo A. Delligatti set bail at $500,000 for Dr. Anand Persaud, reversing a decision by District Court Judge Martin Massell, who had ordered the doctor held without bail.

"I am quite sure everybody is very, very happy," said his father, Haimraj Persaud.

Dr. Anand Persaud, who has been held at the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow since his arrest Tuesday, was expected to be freed Friday.

Persaud, 44, an internist who has offices in Baldwin and Queens, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. He's accused of selling prescriptions for oxycodone to two undercover agents who posed as patients. State prosecutors, however, said Persaud, one of the state's top prescribers of painkillers, wrote prescriptions for narcotics, such as oxycodone, during at least 5,800 patient visits in 2011 and 2012.

At Persaud's arraignment on Tuesday, lawyers from the state attorney general's office attempted to show that the doctor was a flight risk, mistakenly telling Massell that Persaud had passports from the United States and Guyana.

Friday, Crystal Barrow, special assistant attorney in the state attorney general's office, acknowledged her office made the error but gave no explanation as to how it was made.

In addition to setting bail, Delligatti ordered Persaud to wear an electronic monitoring device, surrender his U.S. passport, which he did, and prohibited him from traveling beyond Nassau and Queens.

Delligatti scheduled a hearing Monday to determine the origin of money used to post Persaud's bail. Persaud's attorney, Thomas J. Lavallee of Hauppauge, said the doctor's brother plans to use his property, purchased by their father in 1979, as collateral.

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