LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – R. Alexander Acosta…

LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, announced that defendant Seraphin J. Manfredonia, a North Palm Beach physician, pled guilty today to a four count Information charging him with distributing and dispensing controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).

Manfredonia is a medical doctor who maintained a medical practice in North Palm Beach, Florida. In late 2002, Manfredonia began treating patients who complained of chronic pain. His treatment plan for almost all of these patients was to prescribe large quantities of Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. The patients would visit the doctor monthly, at which time the defendant would conduct a brief examination and then distribute the monthly controlled substance prescriptions. Many of the pain patients were receiving two or three prescriptions for different drugs each month.

According to statements made during the plea, the defendant scheduled a three-week vacation to Italy in the summer of 2005, without making arrangements for other physicians to cover his practice while he was out of the country. Instead, the defendant left pre-signed prescriptions for Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances with his office assistants and directed them to date and distribute the prescriptions when the patients’ showed up for previously scheduled monthly appointments. The defendant also directed his staff to collect the $85 office visit fee from each patient.

While the defendant was in Italy, approximately 36 patients arrived at the defendant’s medical office for their monthly appointments. At the defendant’s direction, the office assistant dated and distributed the pre-signed prescriptions authorizing Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances, including Dilaudid, Roxicodone, Methadone and Percocet, to the various patients. At today’s plea hearing, Manfredonia admitted that he was criminally liable for unlawfully prescribing controlled substances to at least 36 patients.

At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment on the charges. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 26, 2007.

Mr. Acosta commended the Drug Enforcement Administration for their investigation of this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Rabinowitz.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.

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