ALBANY — A local physician faces up to 20 years behind bars for illegal distribution of opioids, health care fraud and obstruction of justice, state officials said Tuesday.
Myra Mabry, 50, of Catskill, pleaded guilty Monday to the charges before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.
Mabry also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, for which she faces a mandatory two-term sentence, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Mabry committed the offenses between 2015 and 2017, according to the DEA.
Mabry is an obstetrician-gynecologist and had been employed by Greene County Family Planning.
Mabry has not worked for Greene County in a few years, County Administrator Shaun Groden said Wednesday.
“I believe her contract expired in late 2015 or early 2016,” he said.
In her guilty plea, Mabry elaborated on the illegal activity, the DEA said.
“She wrote numerous prescriptions for oxycodone, morphine and hydromorphone to third parties, for no legitimate medical purpose, and then instructed a co-conspirator to fill those prescriptions by impersonating the named patients at pharmacies, knowing that health care benefit programs would pay the cost of the drugs,” the DEA said.
Mabry wrote prescriptions for opioids as part of a scheme with her girlfriend, a former heroin addict, the DEA said. Mabry issued 51 prescriptions for oxycodone between May 20, 2015 and Jan. 30, 2017.
The prescriptions were filled by pharmacies at the Price Chopper pharmacy in Catskill under the names of Mabry’s patients, the DEA said.
Mabry also admitted to attempting to obstruct the investigation, according to the DEA. Mabry took part in the scheme with her girlfriend, whom Mabry convinced to lie to a federal grand jury as part of a cover-up so Mabry would not lose her medical license, according to court papers.
“[She instructed] a co-conspirator to falsely testify before a federal grand jury that she (Mabry) was the subject of extortion,” according to the DEA. “As Mabry admitted in her guilty plea, she was not the subject of an extortionate scheme, and was a willing member of the conspiracy to distribute opioids for no legitimate medical purpose. Mabry further admitted that she had agreed to pay her co-conspirator for false testimony in the hope of minimizing her criminal exposure and keeping her medical license.”
Mabry told her girlfriend to tell the grand jury that she was blackmailing Mabry by threatening to expose their romantic relationship to Mabry’s husband and employer if she did not provide her with prescriptions for the controlled substances. Mabry would pay her for the false testimony, according to court documents.
The defendant’s girlfriend, who was not named, took a deal in exchange for her testimony against Mabry, according to court documents.
In a call between Mabry and her girlfriend recorded by DEA agents, Mabry admitted to hatching the plan to try to fool the grand jury, according to court papers.
Mabry will be sentenced on Dec. 4 in Albany.
No actions were filed against Mabry’s medical license Wednesday, an official with the public information office of the state Office of the Professions said.
The case is under investigation by the DEA, with assistance from the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne A. Myers.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.