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Doctor Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Illegal Distribution Of Oxycodone Pills

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RUVIM KRUPKIN, a New York state-licensed doctor, pled guilty today to conspiring to illegally distribute large quantities of oxycodone from a medical office in Brooklyn, New York.  As part of his guilty plea, KRUPKIN also agreed to forfeit $124,000 in proceeds obtained through his illicit distribution of oxycodone.  KRUPKIN pled guilty before United States District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan federal court.    

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As he admitted in court today, Ruvim Krupkin, for more than a decade, wrote thousands of medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone, enriching himself at the expense of others, while the country suffered from a devastating opioid epidemic.  He now awaits sentencing for his crime.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and statements made during court proceedings:

KRUPKIN, a licensed internal medicine doctor with specialties in oncology and hematology, practiced at a medical office in Brooklyn.  From 2006 to July 2017, KRUPKIN prescribed over four million oxycodone pills to individuals he knew had no legitimate medical need for the pills.  KRUPKIN charged each patient $200 in cash for each visit, payable directly to him.   

As a hematologist, KRUPKIN treated patients who had, or claimed to have, sickle cell anemia – a medical condition that can cause pain for which oxycodone, in conjunction with other treatments, may be legitimately prescribed.  However, KRUPKIN wrote thousands of prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone to patients, knowing that they in fact had no legitimate medical need for the prescriptions.  KRUPKIN generally performed little to no physical examination on these patients; indeed, the medical notes for each patient were largely the same from one visit to the next. 

In addition, KRUPKIN typically issued patients prescriptions for a large dose of oxycodone – typically 180 80-milligram pills, until approximately 2010, when the formula for oxycodone changed, reducing the street value of the 80-milligram pills.  At that time, KRUPKIN began prescribing 180 or 240 30-milligram pills.  KRUPKIN’s patients filled their prescriptions at pharmacies throughout New York, and in certain cases, sold the oxycodone pills they received to drug dealers, who in turn re-sold the pills at high value on the street.  KRUPKIN knew that certain of his patients were diverting the oxycodone pills he was prescribing, but he nonetheless continued writing prescriptions of oxycodone for such individuals. 

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KRUPKIN, 69, of Summit, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence for the defendant will be determined by the judge.

KRUPKIN is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Torres on January 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI-NYPD Health Care Fraud Task Force.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the New York City Human Resources Administration for its work on the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tara M. La Morte and Alexandra N. Rothman are in charge of the prosecution.

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