Prosecutors just charged former Coney Island Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny for his alleged role in an illegal scheme to pump millions of narcotic painkillers onto the black market and rip off the health care system, the city’s office for the Special Narcotics Prosecutor announced on April 7.
The ex-pol is among 13 charged — including doctors and other medical professionals — with running an operation that allegedly moved more than 6.3 million pills, for which three Brooklyn clinics received millions of dollars in reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare since early 2013. And the three clinics, known for freely prescribing opioid painkillers, allegedly had evidence their patients were selling the addictive drugs on the black market, according to the prosecutor’s office.
At a time when opiate addiction is on the rise, overdoses are increasing, and health care costs are skyrocketing, the scheme these defendants conducted is especially vile, said Brooklyn’s top prosecutor.
“These defendants are accused of betraying their oaths as healers and healthcare providers. The alleged frauds, and the integrated illegal narcotics distribution, not only extended the vile cycle of opiate abuse, but also attacked our ability as a society to fulfill the basic moral imperative to provide support and appropriate healthcare for the neediest among us,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “At a time when so many families are struggling to afford healthcare, and others are wrestling with addiction, it is particularly deplorable.”
Brook-Krasny raised eyebrows in 2015 when he abruptly resigned from the state legislature to take a more lucrative job in the private sector as one of the heads of Sheepshead Bay pharmaceutical company, Quality Laboratory Services.
Prosecutors charged Brook-Krasny with allegedly using his position at the firm to order unnecessary lab test and alter tested urine samples in one of the indicted doctor’s clinics.
Brook-Krasny “systematically deleted” records of patients’ urine that tested positive for alcohol — which would have prevented them from receiving opioid painkillers — so that they could continue to receive the narcotics, despite medical advice that the mixing drug with alcohol could lead to overdose, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The defendants were arrested on the morning of April 7 and arraignments were set to take place later that afternoon in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Prosecutors said that Brook-Krasny is currently out of the country, and so he was not swept up in Friday’s dragnet.
Brook-Krasny is being defended by attorneys Connor Dolgon and Alfredo Mendez of Abrams Fensterman — the same firm of Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Frank Seddio’s former partner Frank Carone. Dolgon and Mendez could not immediately be reached for comment.