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Former East Islip doctor who illegally prescribed oxycodone to patient gets 3-year probation

Dr. Carmine Mandarano, who practiced in East Islip,

Dr. Carmine Mandarano, who practiced in East Islip, was sentenced to probation July 31, 2015 after having pled guilty to one count of illegally prescribing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone to a patient. Credit: James Carbone

A former East Islip doctor was sentenced to probation Friday after pleading guilty to one count of illegally prescribing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone to a patient.

Carmine Mandarano, 63, of Northport admitted in September that he knew the unnamed patient had obtained other prescriptions for the drug from other doctors, officials have said.

In explaining his 3-year probation sentence in Central Islip, U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley said he was weighing Mandarano's career versus his crime. The judge could have sentenced Mandarano to up to 18 months in prison.

"In balance . . . his life has been extraordinary, but he stubbed his toe . . . in a big way," Hurley said.

Before he was sentenced, Mandarano told the judge, "My lifelong ability and dedication to . . . [the medical field] has been stripped from me. . . . My medical practice closed. My medical license surrendered. Google my name. It's horrendous. My reputation destroyed."

At some points in his remarks, Mandarano seemed to indicate he was a victim in the case and said, "My oath however is to my patients and not to the government."

Judge Hurley stopped him and asked if he was not taking responsibility for the crime he had pleaded to. Mandarano said he was.

Judge Hurley also said he received a hundred letters from patients who said Mandarano had helped them, but a common theme in many of them was: "This must have been a frame-up." Hurley reiterated: "The fault here does not rest with the prosecutor . . . not that he [Mandarano] was victimized. It was that he committed a crime."

Eastern District federal prosecutor Lara Treinis Gatz declined to comment.

The judge also fined Mandarano $30,000. Mandarano previously agreed to forfeit $150,000 and has surrendered both his Drug Enforcement Administration license to prescribe narcotics and his license to practice medicine.

Mandarano's attorney, Joseph Ferrante of Hauppauge, said the sentence was "just." He has said that the crime his client pleaded to involved prescribing 90 oxycodone tablets to a patient in 2011.

When Mandarano was arrested in 2011 by DEA agents, he was charged with writing hundreds of prescriptions from 2010 to 2013 for oxycodone and other controlled substances, including methadone, fentanyl and hydrocodone "without a legitimate medical purpose."

His practice specialized in treating asthma, allergies, immunology and smoking, according to court papers.

In the papers, the DEA said that its investigation began with a complaint from an unnamed "drug treatment professional" who said that his clients had said that Mandarano was "a doctor from whom it was 'easy' to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone."

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