UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
Southern District of New York
U.S. ATTORNEY PREET BHARARA
July 26, 2012 Jerika Richardson, Jennifer Queliz
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Wilbert Plummer, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Tom O’Donnell, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Region for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Office of Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), announced the arrest last night of ROHAN WIJETILAKA, a Yonkers cardiologist, for illegally distributing and dispensing Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. WIJETILAKA was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis in White Plains federal court.
Bharara stated: “As alleged, Rohan Wijetilaka was a corrupt physician who used his medical license to dole out prescriptions for highly addictive narcotics, in exchange for cash from his patients, or for reimbursement by their insurers for services never rendered. Fortunately, one of his patients was working with law enforcement, and Wijetilaka will no longer be in a position to violate the Hippocratic oath to which he swore, jeopardize the health and well-being of his patients, or break the law.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Not only did Mr. Wijetilaka allegedly write prescriptions for pain medication for cash, creating a fast track funnel for illegal prescription drugs on our streets, but he also solicited patient’s insurance providers to bill for unnecessary tests. The FBI will continue working with our partners, as we did this morning with the search conducted at Mr. Wijetilaka’s office, to root out illicit activities among medical professionals and the costs they pass on to consumers and the government.”
Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s New York Regional Office stated: “Protecting taxpayer-funded health programs means ridding the system of those who illegally fatten their profits rather than provide high-quality patient care. Working closely with law enforcement officials at the federal, state, and local levels, we will bring these criminals to justice.”
According to the Complaint unsealed today in White Plains federal court:
WIJETILAKA was a cardiologist who practiced in Yonkers until his license was suspended earlier this month. Without performing a medical examination, he provided a confidential informant (“CI”), with prescriptions for Oxycodone and other painkillers on several occasions and billed his insurer. On one occasion, when the CI was uninsured, WIJETILAKA provided the CI with an Oxycodone prescription for himself, and one for another individual in exchange for cash. These exchanges followed reports by WIJETILAKAS’s patients to the Yonkers Police Department that WIJETILAKA sold prescription drugs in exchange for patients allowing him to bill their insurance providers for unnecessary tests. It also followed reports by pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians to the Yonkers Police Department about the frequency with which WIJETILAKA prescribed Percocet, Oxycontin, Oxycodone and other painkillers.
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WIJETILAKAS, 63, was released on a $200,000 bond secured by $50,000 and two co-signers. He was also ordered not to practice medicine or dispense prescription medicines. If convicted WIJETILAKA faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative efforts of the DEA, the FBI, the HHS-OIG, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, and the Yonkers Police Department.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ilan Graff is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.