Former pol accused of helping flood Brooklyn streets with Oxy says he’s victim of political hit job
A former assemblyman charged with helping to run a $24 million Sheepshead Bay-based pill mill claims he’s the victim of an overzealous, press-hungry prosecutor.
Former Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, who represented a district spanning Bay Ridge to Coney Island, is on trial with two others — physician assistant Marie Nazaire and nurse practitioner Marjorie Louis-Jaques — for their roles in a ring that allegedly sent more than 6.3 million pills pouring into Brooklyn streets.
The former lawmaker is charged with conspiracy, health care fraud and scheme to defraud the state. The trial entered its second week Tuesday.
Krasny served in the New York State Assembly from 2006 until 2015, when he resigned to take a better paying job in the private sector working at a Sheepshead Bay clinical laboratory.
Less than two years later, the ex-pol was indicted — along with 12 others — for his alleged role in a Brooklyn pill mill ring that defrauded and billed Medicare and Medicaid for millions by submitting patients to unnecessary tests. Doctors at three Brooklyn clinics convinced patients to submit to the tests by prescribing them with unnecessary oxycodone that the patients often sold later on the black market.
All in all, between 2012 and 2017, more than 6.3 million pills of oxycodone were prescribed as part of the ring that took in more than $24 million from the scheme, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York.
Working for Quality Laboratory Services in Sheepshead Bay, Brook-Krasny allegedly handled urinalyses for the ring, orchestrated by Dr. Lazar Feygin, according to prosecutors. Feygin pleaded guilty to a slew of charges including conspiracy, criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance and health care fraud in March. He faces five years in prison.
Brook-Krasny directed “unnecessary laboratory testing of specimens,” and was reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid, according to the DA. He also “systematically deleted” urinalyses that tested positive for alcohol consumption, despite the fact that patients who drink are not supposed to be prescribed opioids.
“He went from making $135,000 in his first year at Quality Labs to in the next nine month period making approximately $395,000,” said Assistant District Attorney Kristin Bailey at trial. Bailey said that Brook-Krasny introduced Feygin to “powerful political connections” in an effort to continue getting the illicit business from Feygin’s clinics.
Brook-Krasny’s lawyer, James McGovern, argued that his client was the target of a political hit that launched the DEA and Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s investigation into a “full-on press conference case.”
McGovern used the fact that Brook-Krasny’s son overdosed on opioids to suggest that his client would not be part of a conspiracy to illegally prescribe the drugs.
“The idea that this man would then go out after having experienced that kind of life-altering event and join a conspiracy to deal Oxy and other opioids on the streets of Brooklyn in his own backyard where his own kids live is frankly ridiculous,” McGovern said in opening statements.
On Tuesday, the former assemblymember’s daughter was the sole audience to the trial — besides an intern for the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
She sat quietly in the second row as a cooperating witness for the government testified about receiving an opioid prescription from Feygin that she later sold on the street.
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