Montgomery County “Goody Bag” Pill Mill Doctor Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Andrew Berkowitz, 62, of Huntington Valley, PA was sentenced to 20 years in prison, five years supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $40,000 fine and almost $4 million in restitution by United States District Judge Paul Diamond for running a prescription “pill mill” from his medical practice which he operated in Philadelphia under the name ‘A+ Pain Management.’ Judge Diamond also ordered that the defendant shall forfeit fraud proceeds of approximately $3.4 million and four real properties.

In January 2020, Berkowitz pleaded guilty to 19 counts of health care fraud, and 23 counts of distributing oxycodone outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, charges for which he was indicted in June 2019. The defendant fraudulently billed insurers for medically unnecessary physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and prescription drugs, and for treatments not provided at all. Regardless of their complaint, at every visit patients received a “goodie bag” which was a tote bag filled with prescription drugs for which Berkowitz submitted pharmacy claims through his company, Bucks Philadelphia Medical Care Group. The “goodie bags” typically included a combination of drugs including topical analgesics such as Relyyt and/or Lidocaine; muscle relaxers such as Chloroxazon and/or Cyclobenzaprine; anti-inflammatories such as Celecoxib and/or Nalfon; and Schedule IV controlled substances such as Tramadol for pain; and/or Eszopiclone and Quazepam for insomnia and anxiety. The defendant obtained payments from insurers of more than $4,000 for each bag by falsely asserting that the drugs were for the benefit of the patient when, in reality, Berkowitz was the real beneficiary.

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