New York doctor sentenced to probation in identity theft and painkiller scheme
A New York doctor was sentenced to two years of probation for illegally using the identities of his dead patients to gain access to controlled substances. He avoided prison after acknowledging his addiction to painkillers and beginning a residential treatment program soon after his arrest.
Paul Biddle, 54, was convicted of identity theft and possession of the opioid hydromorphone HCL. He pleaded guilty to the charges in January.
According to prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Biddle admitted to writing more than 30 prescriptions using the names of the two deceased patients to obtain drugs for his personal use. He paid for painkillers such as morphine, fentanyl and hydromorphone.
The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated Biddle after flagging a high volume of prescriptions filled at a pharmacy in Tampa, Florida. The opioids were shipped from the pharmacy straight to Biddle’s home or Orchard Park office, where he worked as an anesthesiologist and pain management physician.
Biddle’s attorney pointed out that the doctor became dependent on the drugs after suffering injuries and undergoing surgeries, like many other people who have become victims of the current opioid epidemic across the country. The judge agreed and said she saw no reason to sentence Biddle to prison.
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