Hauppauge, NY - September 25, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Nasreen Kader, a psychiatrist, on charges she unlawfully sold prescriptions for controlled substances in the course of her professional practice, without a legitimate medical purpose. The investigation was opened by the Attorney General’s office after two Long Island families complained that Kader was over prescribing highly addictive controlled substances to their family members. The felony case lodged against the Suffolk County doctor charges that she repeatedly offered prescriptions for Xanax and Klonopin, powerful tranquilizers used to treat anxiety disorders, and Ritalin, a stimulant prescribed for concentration disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, to undercover Attorney General investigators posing as patients who sought the drugs for illegitimate purposes.
“Doctors swear to save lives, and must be stopped if they are found to be feeding the prescription drug addiction epidemic that is devastating families across New York and across our country,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “A drug dealer is a drug dealer, whether they work on the street or inside a doctor’s office. We will use every tool at our disposal to bring criminal charges against those who endanger our citizens by fueling dangerous addictions to prescription medications.”
Kader, 48, of Central Islip, was arraigned today in Suffolk County Court before the Judge Paul Hensley, on fifteen counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance, a class C felony. She faces up to 5 ½ years behind bars on each count.
According to a criminal complaint, between August 2012 and September 2013, Kader met with undercover agents posing as patients on 12 separate occasions at her Suffolk County office, at 228 Carroll Avenue in Ronkonkoma. Each time, Kader gave prescriptions to her “patients” for Xanax, Klonopin and/or Ritalin, which are among the most frequently abused prescription medications on the market today. She offered the prescriptions after engaging in only brief visits with the “patients,” some lasting a minute or less,” without conducting a medical history, physical assessment, or psychological evaluation of their symptoms, and in disregard for the “patient’s” behavior, which included statements that the drugs were being unlawfully shared with others.
Kader also maintained offices in Holbrook, at 223 Union Avenue. The doctor surrendered her license in June to the state Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct, based upon a finding that she had inappropriately prescribed and overprescribed controlled substances to numerous patients.
In 2012, the New York State legislature unanimously passed Attorney General Schneiderman’s landmark Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP. I-STOP requires doctors to review a patient’s prescription drug history and update it, in real time, when writing prescriptions for certain controlled substances. Had such a system been in place at the time Kader committed her crimes, authorities could have more quickly detected these crimes.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and Office of Professional Medical Conduct for their assistance in this investigation.
The charges against the defendant are accusations and Kader is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The investigation was conducted by MFCU Investigator George Feliciano, Supervising Auditor Investigator John Grunenberg and Associate Special Auditor Investigator Gretchen Hugh, with assistance from Hauppauge’s Regional Chief Investigator Greg Muroff and Chief Auditor Margaret McArdle.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Lara Merchan of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Jane Zwirn-Turkin is the Regional Director of the MFCU’s Hauppauge Regional Office. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.