New York pharmacist pleads guilty to opioid distribution

New York City pharmacist Daniel Russo, PharmD, pleaded guilty to opioid distribution and tax charges, the Justice Department said Feb. 17.

Dr. Russo admitted to possession and distribution of oxycodone and related conspiracy charges, as well as filing false business and personal income tax returns, the Justice Department said. He owned and operated a drug store called Russo's Pharmacy.

From 2011 through 2014, Dr. Russo conspired with others to illegally distribute oxycodone, and from 2012 through 2016 filed false tax returns for both his personal taxes and those of his drug store, the Justice Department said. He underreported his pharmacy's gross receipts and ordinary business income as well as the income he personally received from it, amounting to a tax loss of more than $415,000.

Dr. Russo faces a period of supervised release, restitution, monetary penalties and forfeiture, a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the opioid charges, and three years for each false tax return charge, the Justice Department said. No sentencing date was announced, and Dr. Russo may receive lighter sentences than the maximum penalties.

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