Doctor and Wife Charged in Prescription Drug Fraud Plot

(VitalNews.org) – A doctor and his wife who appeared on a reality show have been accused of stealing their castmates’ identities in order to illegitimately obtain opioid prescriptions. Dr. Francis Martinis, 55, and wife Jessica, 38, were both arrested in May and charged with falsifying business records and the criminal sale of prescription drugs, although it is not yet clear whether the couple intended to sell the drugs or to keep them for their own use.

Concerns were first raised in January 2023 when Jessica tried to collect oxycodone using a prescription that had been hand-written by her husband. The pharmacist grew suspicious as prescriptions are usually sent to the pharmacy electronically, and because Jessica was not the listed recipient of the drugs. The pharmacist refused to fill the prescription and instead alerted the police to the potential breach of the law.

The Long Island couple previously appeared on “Below Deck”, a reality show that followed the lives of people living and working on a luxury yacht, sailing around the Mediterranean. Dr. Francis is alleged to have taken advantage of his position on the yacht in order to steal his castmates’ identities and carry out his opioid scheme with his wife, whose job it was to visit pharmacies and fill the prescriptions.

Frank Tarentino, special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) New York division, spoke of the agency’s aim to prevent people from dying as a result of illegal drug abuse, stating that a doctor can commit “irreparable harm” by diverting powerful prescription medication from its intended use. The couple have appeared in court already, shortly after their arrest in May, and are due to appear again on January 25, 2024. They have been allowed supervised bail in between their court appearances. Their attorney, Peter Crusco, has proclaimed the pair’s innocence, disparaging the charges. He told the press that his clients both looked forward to having their day in court and being able to clear their names.

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