A Long Island doctor and his wife were brought into court Thursday in handcuffs and are now facing new criminal charges after he was allegedly caught selling painkiller prescriptions for cash while his wife was cooking the books of the medical practice, the state attorney general’s office said.
Dr. Anand Persaud, 45, pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, grand larceny, scheme to defraud, criminal tax fraud and offering a false instrument for filing. He was released on a previously posted $500,000 bond during the court appearance. The Baldwin resident declined to comment as he rushed out of the Nassau County Court.
Prosecutors said Persaud was running a “cash-for-controlled-substance-prescription scam,” in which he would charge pain management patients – many of whom were drug addicts – $250 to $300 for an office visit that included a prescription for a controlled substance – often oxycodone. According to the attorney general’s office, Persaud would only spend a few minutes with the patients and wouldn’t ask them about their need for the medication and would not conduct tests or physical examinations during their visits. He then allegedly would fail to submit claims to the patient’s insurance companies, “in order to avoid detection by authorities,” prosecutors said.
In court papers, the AG’s office alleges Persaud, his wife and their company also failed to report the cash payments on their tax returns. The doctor’s wife, Bibi Shazeeda Persaud, 42, was arraigned beside her husband Thursday before Acting State Supreme Court Judge Phillip Grella on charges of criminal tax fraud and offering a false instrument for filing. She was released without bail after surrendering her passport and wouldn’t speak to reporters as she left the courtroom with her husband and other relatives.
“For a doctor, a trusted licensed professional, to violate his professional duties and use his position to traffic in narcotics is unconscionable,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. "That he and his wife failed to report their total income is also a crime. My office will seek to keep New York patients safe from rogue doctors and protect our tax dollars.” The Persauds are due back in court later this month.