NEWARK, N.J. – New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs yesterday announced that the State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) has revoked the licenses of five doctors in unrelated cases involving the prescription of opioids, anabolic steroids, and/or other controlled substances to their patients, including two doctors convicted on federal charges of illegal drug distribution.
Dr. Jose J. Leyson, a Newark urologist; Dr. Kevin T. Custis, a family physician in Asbury Park; Dr. William F. Mclay, a family physician in Cape May County; Dr. Bonnie Chen, a West Caldwell internist; and Dr. Anthony Enrico, Jr., a Paterson podiatrist, all agreed to the license revocations to resolve separate investigations involving allegations they prescribed controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) without a legitimate medical purpose.
“Doctors are entrusted with the authority to prescribe dangerous drugs, but it is a power they must wield responsibly – and it is a power that will be revoked if they fail to adhere to their professional standards,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Physicians who indiscriminately prescribe dangerous drugs for profit are no better than street-corner drug dealers, and we will do everything we can to protect our communities from such danger.”
“All five of these doctors allegedly engaged in conduct that endangered patient lives and brought shame to their professions, some of whom will do time in federal prison for their actions;” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Revoking their licenses is the final step in holding them accountable for their alleged conduct and removing their malignant presence from the medical profession.”
The five doctors whose licenses were revoked are:
Dr. Jose Leyson, 72, of Long Valley, NJ – Leyson, who owned and served as the medical director of a Newark medical clinic, pleaded guilty in federal court in January to writing illegal prescriptions for Oxycodone and conspiring to commit health care fraud. In June, Leyson was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution and a $15,000 fine.
In a Consent Order with the Board filed on June 11, Leyson agreed to the permanent revocation of his medical license and his NJ CDS Registration that allowed him to prescribe controlled substances in this state.
In pleading guilty, Leyson admitted that on four occasions between Nov. 11, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014, he illegally sold prescriptions for Oxycodone to a confidential source acting at law enforcement’s direction. In each instance, Leyson wrote these prescriptions without performing any medical treatment or patient examination and in exchange for cash payments or access to welfare benefits. In total, Leyson provided the confidential source with prescriptions for 420 pills of Oxycodone 30 mg.
Leyson also admitted that from April 2010 to January 2013, he and others at the medical clinic conspired to submit phony bills to Medicare and Medicaid for certain allergy tests that Leyson prescribed without examining the patients to determine if the tests were medically necessary. As a result, Leyson and the other conspirators were able to fraudulently obtain $30,000 from Medicare and Medicaid.
Leyson voluntarily retired from practice in September 2015 and allowed his license to expire in June 2017, as the criminal case against him moved forward.
Under the terms of the Consent Order Leyson’s license is revoked, extinguishing any right to renew or reinstate his licenses. He is also is permanently precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities, including testifying as an expert witness in New Jersey. He also cannot charge, receive, or share in any fee for professional services rendered by others, and must divest himself from any current and future financial interest in or benefit from the practice of medicine.
Dr. Kevin T. Custis, 51, of Bell Meade, NJ – Custis, who had offices in Asbury Park and Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in federal court in April to distributing anabolic steroids and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. He is awaiting sentencing on August 9.
In a Final Consent Order with the Board filed on July 31, Custis agreed to the permanent revocation of his medical license and his NJ CDS registration.
The charges against him stemmed from a multi-agency investigation conducted by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) and others.
Custis was convicted of writing and delivering numerous prescriptions for various types of anabolic steroids to two patients, who were actually undercover investigators, in 2016 and 2017. Custis admitted that he knew these prescriptions were not for the treatment of any actual medical condition, but were solely for muscle enhancement, beauty, and muscle building and fitness competitions, a use expressly forbidden by a Board of Medical Examiner rule.
When agents and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency searched his home on June 14, 2017, they found more than four kilograms of marijuana and more than 150 grams of tetrahydrocannobinal oil. Custis admitted that he intended to distribute these substances and that he had no authority under any federal or state law or regulation to do so. Custis also admitted that he prepared marijuana products for patients in his home kitchen.
Custis faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine for the distributing anabolic steroids charge; and up to five years in prison and a $250,000 for the possessing marijuana with intent to distribute charge.
Custis had been temporarily suspended from practice under a Consent Order filed immediately after his arrest.
Under the terms of his Final Consent Order with the Board, Custis is permanently precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities, including testifying as an expert witness in New Jersey. He also cannot charge, receive, or share in any fee for professional services rendered by others, and must divest himself from any current and future financial interest in or benefit from the practice of medicine.
Dr. William F. Mclay, 74, of Cape May Court House, NJ – Mclay allegedly engaged in the indiscriminate prescribing of Oxycodone, Xanax, Adderall, and other CDS to his patients without a medical purpose.
The allegations against Mclay stem from an investigation conducted last February by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau, which included an inspection of Mclay’s medical office and a review of his patient records and prescription profile histories.
In a Final Consent Order with the Board resolving the allegations, Mclay agreed to retire and surrender his license for permanent revocation. His NJ CDS Registration, which Mclay surrendered for temporary suspension last February, is permanently revoked, under the Order which was filed on July 16.
Under the terms of the Order, Mclay is permanently precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities, including testifying as an expert witness in New Jersey. He also cannot charge, receive, or share in any fee for professional services rendered by others, and must divest himself from any current and future financial interest in or benefit from the practice of medicine.
Dr. Bonnie Chen, 54, of Fairfield, NJ – Chen, who was formally reprimanded in 2013 for failing to maintain consistent safe practices in prescribing injectable testosterone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HGC), and other medications, agreed to the permanent revocation of her medical license to settle new allegations related to her prescribing of hormone replacement medications.
Under a Consent Order of Permanent Retirement with the Board, which was filed on July 12, Chen agreed to retire her license in a permanent revocation effective August 12.
The agreement resolves the Board’s investigation into allegations that Chen had not complied with statutes and regulations pertaining to the prescribing and dispensing of hormone replacement medications, including anabolic steroids and estrogen.
Under the terms of the Order, Chen has 30 days to wind down her practice. During that wind down period, Chen is prohibited from accepting new patients and may issue prescriptions or renewals to existing patients only as needed to provide continuity between herself and the patient’s new treatment provider. Chen also agrees to not reapply for a New Jersey medical license or seek a CDS registration in New Jersey in the future.
Under the terms of the Order, Chen is permanently precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities in New Jersey.
Dr. Anthony Enrico, Jr., 60, of North Haledon, NJ – Enrico, a podiatrist who had offices in Paterson, Passaic, and Elizabeth, allegedly prescribed large quantities of painkillers to patients for years without any legitimate medical purpose, and prescribed other drugs to treat conditions unrelated to podiatry, according to a Complaint filed against him by the State last year.
Under the terms of a Final Consent Order with the Board, filed on June 27, Enrico’s podiatric license is revoked and he is ineligible to obtain a license to practice podiatry in New Jersey for a period of five years. His NJ CDS Registration is permanently revoked. Enrico has been temporarily barred from practicing under various Orders with the Board dating back to February 2017.
In January 2017, the State alleged that Enrico demonstrated gross negligence and endangered the welfare of patients he treated between 2011 and 2016 in conduct that included prescribing controlled dangerous substances without a legitimate medical purpose; failing to treat his patients’ underlying podiatric conditions; and practicing outside the scope of his license by prescribing controlled dangerous drugs like Xanax and Ambien to treat conditions unrelated to podiatry.
In October 2017, Enrico pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding $3 million from Medicare and private insurance companies through fraudulent billings. In March 2018 he was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $3 million.
Enrico admitted that from January 2007 through May 2016, he billed Medicare and other health insurance providers for more than 150,000 physical therapy services he purportedly provided to his patients, when in fact, those services were performed at his direction by individuals who lacked the necessary training and certifications.
Under the terms of his Final Consent Order with the Board, Enrico is ineligible to apply for a podiatric license for a period of five years from the date he agreed to cease practicing medicine pending a board hearing on his case, which was February 8, 2017. Before Enrico is permitted to reapply for a license to practice podiatry, he must appear before the Board to demonstrate his fitness to resume practice.
Prior to resuming practice, Enrico must successfully complete a Board approved course in ethics; undergo a full evaluation and assessment of his podiatric knowledge and skill, and comply with all recommendations of the evaluation. The Consent Order also requires Enrico to reimburse the Board $20,000 for its investigation costs and attorney fees.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigations.
Deputy Attorney General Cristina E. Ramundo, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in the Leyson matter.
Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in the Custis matter.
Deputy Attorney General Alina Wells, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in the Mclay matter.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa N. Brown, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in the Chen matter.
Deputy Attorney General Delia DeLisi, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State in the Enrico matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
SOURCE: news provided by NJ.GOV on August 9, 2018