Suffern pharmacist pleads guilty to illegally selling millions of barbiturates

An 83-year-old Suffern pharmacist admitted to making millions selling barbiturates without a proper prescription. Now he’s heading to jail and giving those millions in ill-gotten gains back to society.
Maurice Malin pled guilty last Wednesday to selling over 5 million Butalbital pills to customers around the country without prescriptions from several drug stores he ran in the Bronx. And those are just the pills the authorities were able to confirm that Malin sold.

The druggist agreed to forfeit $9 million to the government, which represents his proceeds from the illegal scheme. He pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison.

“Unfortunately, this is another example of a pharmacist who was more interested in making fast money than he was in helping the public,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Carl J. Kotowski said in a statement. “His actions help to erode the public’s trust in those in positions of responsibility.”

Between March 2014 and June 2016, prosecutors said Malin and co-conspirators made it easy to acquire the Butalbital pills. They allowed customers to acquire them anywhere in the United States through medical surveys with “yes” and “no” questions. The customers never had to see a doctor.

“As Maurice Malin admitted today in court, he made millions of dollars illegally dispensing drugs over the internet to customers who had no valid prescriptions and had never seen a doctor,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement. “Pharmacists entrusted with the sale of controlled substances must safeguard the health of consumers, not scheme to profit from illegal drug sales.”

Malin was arrested Aug. 10, 2016 and represented by Arthur L. Aidala of Aidala Bertuna & Kamins PC.

Parts of this article were edited from Mid Hudson News and Law 360

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