New Jersey

South Jersey Doctor Prescribed More Than 1 Million Doses of Opioids in 3-Year Period, Prosecutor Says

At least one of his patients overdosed and died, according to the Burlington County prosecutor's office

A South Jersey doctor is accused of supplying more than a million doses of opioids to multiple patients over the course of three years, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

At least one of those patients overdosed and died.

Former Bordentown physician Morris "Moishe" Starkman of Cinnaminson was taken into police custody last month and charged with eight counts of distributing controlled substances, four counts of health care fraud and two counts of insurance fraud.

The case could end up in front of a grand jury, according to the prosecutor's office.

Starkman allegedly supplied 1.4 million doses of opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl between Jan. 1, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2018, officials said.

He prescribed the deadly pills like they were "candy," Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. "The motive was to keep his practice alive."

Eight patients named in court documents received 11 doses of opioids per day. One patient was prescribed more than 17,000 doses through Starkman's Bordentown Family Practice.

Prosecutors accused Starkman of performing "cursory examinations" on patients before prescribing them opioids. He also failed to document treatment plans for pain management or provide "legitimate" medical reasons for the prescriptions.

To cover his scheme, Starkman submitted fake health care claims to insurance companies totaling more than $50,000 for ineligible services, officials said.

“He was one of the top prescribers in New Jersey,” Coffina said. “The number of opioids he prescribed for the three-year period reviewed during the investigation was enough to provide in excess of three doses to every man, woman and child residing in Burlington County."

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