Home New York Press Releases 2010 Pharmacist from West Harrison Charged with Illegally Dispensing Prescription Drugs

Pharmacist from West Harrison Charged with Illegally Dispensing Prescription Drugs

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 06, 2010
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SCOTT BURKO, 47, who lives in West Harrison, New York, surrendered this morning in the United States District Court in White Plains in connection with an Indictment filed yesterday charging BURKO with participating in a conspiracy to dispense prescription drugs without valid prescriptions and with intent to defraud and mislead.

The 82-count Indictment charges SCOTT BURKO with participating in a conspiracy from at least 2003 through March 31, 2006, to cause the dispensing without valid prescriptions of prescription drugs held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce.

According to the Indictment, BURKO worked as a pharmacist for a company that operated pharmacies in Rockland County, Orange County, Dutchess County, and Westchester County. The Indictment also charges BURKO in 81 counts with dispensing Prednisone, a steroid, from April 8, 2005, through March 31, 2006, on 81 separate occasions, pursuant to fraudulent prescriptions. As charged in the Indictment, on each of these 81 instances, BURKO dispensed Prednisone, in 10 milligram tablets, pursuant to fraudulent prescriptions BURKO issued in the names of fictitious patients.

According to statements made by the government at today’s presentment, BURKO’s dispensing of Prednisone pursuant to the fraudulent prescriptions was part of a larger scheme by which BURKO and at least one co-conspirator stole drugs from the pharmacies at which BURKO worked.

Count One, the conspiracy charge, carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary loss or gain derived from the offense. Counts 2 through 82 each carry a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

The case was assigned to United States District Judge KENNETH M. KARAS. Following his presentment this morning before Magistrate Judge LISA MARGARET SMITH, BURKO was released subject to bail conditions.

Mr. BHARARA praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the Clarkstown Police Department for its assistance in the investigation.

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