Passaic County Doctor Charged with 34 Counts of Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances

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NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, doctor was charged today with multiple counts of illegally prescribing medicines to his patients, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Evangelos Megariotis, 68, of Clifton, New Jersey, an orthopedic surgeon who owned and operated Clifton Orthopedic Associates, is charged by indictment with 34 counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances to his patients. 

According to the documents filed in this case:

 From November 2016 to February 2018, Megariotis prescribed controlled substances, including oxycodone, alprazolam (or “Xanax”), cough syrup with codeine, and stimulants, outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

The counts charging illegal prescribing of Schedule II opioids and stimulants are punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The counts charging illegal prescribing of alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, are punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The counts charging illegal prescribing of cough syrup with codeine, a Schedule V controlled substance, are punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. 

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger credited special agents, diversion investigators and task force officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emma Spiro of the Opioid Abuse Prevention & Enforcement Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.