Fri August 10, 2012
North Tonawanda doctor arrested for trading prescriptions
A local doctor has been arrested for allegedly writing prescriptions in exchange for toilet paper and other goods.
Dr. Matthew Bennett of Clarence was charged with unlawful distribution of controlled substances after a year-long undercover investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Dr. Bennett used his prescription pad much like a checkbook. He was out bartering for goods, he was paying for services for his house, he was essentially trading a script for a gas grill and for paper towels and toilet paper," said Dale Kasprzyk, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA's Buffalo Office.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul says Dr. Matthew Bennett allegedly wrote prescriptions for painkillers without providing treatment. The "patients" dictated the type of drug and its quantity. Hochul says Bennett even accepted Medicaid.
Hochul says doctors who violate their oath and public trust will be prosecuted just like street corner drug dealers. The 46-year-old family practitioner faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a possible $1 million fine, if convicted.