Two pharmacists were arrested on Monday, November 14, and charged in a long-running conspiracy to illegally distribute and dispense large quantities of oxycodone and other controlled substances from two pharmacies located in Medford, New Jersey.
Michael Ludwikowsi, 44, of Medford, and David Goldfield, 58, of Medford Lakes, New Jersey, were charged in a 16-count indictment with conspiracy to illegally distribute and dispense oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and multiple substantive counts of illegal distribution. Ludwikowski was also charged with using his cellphone in furtherance of the conspiracy.
According to documents files in this case and statements made in court:
From March 2008 through August 2013, Ludwikowski, the owner of both Olde Medford Pharmacy and Medford Family Pharmacy, and his employee, Goldfield, knowingly distributed and dispenses oxycodone and other controlled substances to individuals, including addicts, who presented phony prescriptions.
Ludwikowski ordered tense of thousands of dosage unites of oxycodone, among other products, from a large national distributor. The distributor established thresholds for the quantity of controlled substances that it supplied to certain pharmacies. These thresholds could not be exceeded unless a pharmacy provided sufficient justification for an increase. As part of the conspiracy, Ludwikowski Fraudulently requested and received increases to threshold of oxycodone supplied to hiss pharmacies, even though he knew they were not going to be used for legitimate medical reasons.
In some instances, the customers presented fraudulent prescriptions that had been blatantly “washed,” or “bleached,” through a chemical process that removed the original writing for a non-narcotic substance. The customers then rewrote the prescriptions for their drug of choice, including oxycodone. Ludwikowski and Goldfield even allegedly ignored concerns raised by an employee who pointed out an obviously altered prescription.
Customers who used the fraudulent prescriptions generally paid in cash and provided gifts to Ludwikowski and Goldfield. In some instances, these customers filed fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone multiple times a week.
In furtherance of the scheme, Ludwikowski and another pharmacist he employed – referred to in the indictment as “Pharmacist 3” – reached an agreement with a physician – referred to in the indictment as “Doctor 1” – to “steer” Doctor 1’s patients to Ludwikowski’s pharmacies. In a text a text message from Pharmacist 3 to Ludwikowski on Jan. 1, 2013, Pharmacist 3 wrote: “I talked to [Doctor 1] and he is going to direct all of his patients to us he is the pain doc in Cherry Hill.
Following that exchange, Ludwikowski received a voicemail from an individual referred to be in the indictment as “Individual 3” who claimed to be a patient of Doctor 1 and was looking for a monthly supplier. After Ludwikowski passed along his number to Pharmacist 3, Individual 3 was able to fill in prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances at Olde Medford Pharmacy or Medford Family Pharmacy.
In another instance, a Pennsylvania resident referred to in the indictment as “Individual 4” informed Ludwikowski that he was “in a bit of a pickle” because he had been unable to fill a prescription written by Doctor 1 in Pennsylvania, but had heard that Ludwikowski would be able to help. Subsequently, Individual 4 was able to acquire oxycodone and other controlled substance prescriptions from Ludwikowski’s pharmacies.
The conspiracy charge and each substantive count of illegal distribution of oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances carry a maximum potential penalty for 20 years in prison and a $1 million file, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count of using a telephone in furtherance of the drug trafficking crimes carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.