Dr. Michael Belfiore, of Merrick, arrested for allegedly writing illegal painkiller prescriptions
A doctor from Nassau County is accused of writing thousands of prescriptions for painkillers for patients who didn't need them.
Dr. Michael Belfiore of Westbury faced a federal judge Wednesday for allegedly doling out thousands of oxycodone prescriptions.
According to court documents, Belfiore wrote 5,000 prescriptions over a three-year period, totaling more than 600,000 pills.
Prosecutors say it's an extraordinary amount for a doctor who specializes in family medicine and dermatology.
Belfiore was arrested after he allegedly prescribed oxycodone to an undercover cop six times.
Prosecutors say Belfiore used his prescription writing privileges to pad his bank account with thousands of dollars. The criminal complaint notes that on one occasion, Belfiore allegedly examined the undercover agent for a few seconds and gave him a prescription for 90 pills in exchange for $425 cash.
Belfiore's attorney issued a statement saying Belfiore is a compassionate, caring doctor who did the best he could to take care of his patients. The attorney claims the charges against Belfiore are not accurate.
Belfiore's attorney says his client has surrendered his DEA license to prescribe narcotics.
If convicted, Belfiore faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.