Former Brooklyn pol acquitted on charges of conspiracy, fraud — mistrial on three other counts
Former Brooklyn Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny was acquitted on charges of conspiracy, health care fraud and scheming to defraud the state Thursday after a months-long trial and a week of jury deliberations in Manhattan. Judge Maxwell Wiley declared a mistrial on three of the eight counts Brook-Krasny was accused of — all for commercial bribery in the second degree — meaning the former politician could be tried again.
Brook-Krasny, who represented a district spanning from Bay Ridge to Coney Island, was on trial with two others for their roles in a pill-pushing ring that allegedly flooded Brooklyn’s streets with more than 6.3 million pills. Brook-Krasny served in the New York State Assembly from 2006 to 2015, before resigning to take a job in the private sector, working at a laboratory clinic in Sheepshead Bay.
All the charges Brook-Krasny was acquitted on were felony charges. The commercial bribery charges that resulted in a hung jury were all misdemeanor charges. Prosecutors will decide whether or not they will retry Brook-Krasny by September 25, the next court date, according to a spokesperson for the special narcotics prosecutor.
He was indicted in 2017 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.
Doing work for Quality Laboratory Services, Brook-Krasny handled urinalyses in his alleged role in the conspiracy. Dr. Lazar Feygin, who prosecutors said orchestrated the ring, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy, criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance and health care fraud, for moving the pills from his two clinics — Parkville Medical Health in Kensington and LF Medical Services of NY in Clinton Hill.
While Brook-Krasny’s two codefendants — physician assistant Marie Nazaire and nurse practitioner Marjorie Louis-Jaques — were “completely irreplaceable to this conspiracy,” according to Assistant District Attorney Tess Cohen during closings at the trial, Brook-Krasny, she said, was “completely replaceable.”
Cohen said there were many labs out there besides Brook-Krasny’s, but that the former assemblymember offered Feygin his “political connections.”
“Brook-Krasny entered into that conspiracy with Doctor Feygin,” Cohen said during summations.
In total, 15 people were arrested in the ring took in more than $24 million from the scheme, according to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
The jury also deadlocked on all 64 counts against Nazaire. Louis-Jacques was acquitted on five counts, and the jury was hung on 81 others.
None of the three defendants was found guilty of any charge.
The former assemblyman allegedly directed “unnecessary testing of specimens” and got reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid and also “systematically deleted” urinalyses that tested positive for alcohol consumption, even though patients who drink are not supposed to be prescribed opioids, according to the special narcotics prosecutor.
But Brook-Krasny’s lawyer, James McGovern argued his client was the target of a political hit, and that prosecutors and the DEA failed to “do their homework.”
“They had gotten their assemblyman based on absolutely nothing other than the ignorant view of the medicine,” McGovern said in closings.
“In the process they ruined his life. They ruined his reputation. They ruined everything about him. And now he’s been arrested and charged with all these things based on nothing.”
Brook-Krasny could not be reached for comment.
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