Attorney General James Announces Conviction Of New York Doctor For Manslaughter In Opioid Death 

Physician Barry S. Sloan Pleads Guilty to Providing Patients Powerful Narcotics Outside the Good Faith Practice of Medicine and Recklessly Causing the Death of a 36-Year-Old Man by Prescribing Fentanyl  

Sloan Expected to Receive Four to Nine Years in State Prison 

NEW YORK–New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the conviction of physician Barry S. Sloan, 61, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for Manslaughter in the Second Degree, for recklessly causing the death of a patient, L.W, a Manhattan resident, who died at the age of 36 from a fentanyl overdose.  

The Court is expected to sentence Sloan, who has no prior criminal record, to four years to nine years in state prison and require that he surrender his license to practice medicine in the State of New York. 

“Doctors take an oath to heal, not harm people,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “With a raging opioid crisis, it is unconscionable that a doctor would recklessly endanger lives by providing fentanyl to healthy patients. My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that those responsible for perpetuating this crisis are brought to justice.” 

Sloan has also been convicted of multiple counts of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree and Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled Substance or of a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner or Pharmacist, and Health Care Fraud in the Third Degree for knowingly and unlawfully selling a prescription for a controlled substance other than in good faith in the course of his professional practice to L.W. and four other former patients. 

As part of his guilty plea, Sloan admitted that in August 2014, he issued to L.W.–without medical justification, two separate prescriptions for “Subsys,” a narcotic approved by the FDA to treat intense pain in late-stage cancer patients. Four days later, L.W., an otherwise healthy young man, filled the prescription issued to him by Sloan and died early the next morning after overdosing on fentanyl. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the active ingredient in “Subsys” is fentanyl, the most potent chemical of its class legally allowed to be used in humans and is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. 

Sloan also admitted he knowingly provided false information to Healthfirst, a Medicaid managed care company contracted by the State of New York to cover the cost of medical care and prescriptions. 

Furthermore Sloan, as part of his guilty plea before Honorable Maxwell Wiley in Supreme Court, New York County, admitted that between 2012 and 2016, he recklessly issued prescriptions for controlled substances, including highly addictive opioids, to four other patients, and that providing those prescriptions without medical justification caused a significant risk of overdose and death to each of these patients. 

“Stated plainly, Dr. Sloan was a drug dealer in a thinly-veiled disguise, which led directly to this conviction. His opioid prescribing, in no small part, fueled the spread of these drugs, while he stole from Medicare and Medicaid,” said Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We look forward to continue working with our state and federal law enforcement partners in fighting this epidemic and safeguarding taxpayer-funded government health programs.”     

The Office of the New York Attorney General encourages anyone exposed to over-prescription of opioids to seek medical care or reach out to the New York State HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY. 

The Office of the New York Attorney General wishes to thank the New York field office of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its assistance in this investigation, as well as the New York State Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General and the Office of the Passaic County Prosecutor, for providing valuable assistance in this investigation. 

The matter was investigated by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”), which combats provider fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicaid program. The investigation was conducted by MFCU Investigators Thomas Dowd, Shavaun Clawson, and Anthony Caban, with the assistance of Supervising Investigators Dominick DiGennaro, Ronald Lynch, James Briscoe and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. The financial and technical analysis was performed by Senior Special Auditor-Investigator Matthew Tandle and Special Auditor-Investigator Colin Ware with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Stacey Millis. Research Analyst Si Lok Chao of the Electronic Investigation Support Group and Data Analytics also provided data analytics support for the investigation.  

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General David Abrams and Todd Pettigrew, under the supervision of Special Assistant Attorney General Thomas O’Hanlon, MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado. 

 

 

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