BUFFALO, NY-- The Amherst doctor who admitted to fraud by writing more than 200 illegal painkiller prescriptions will spend two years in prison.
Dr. Albert Cowie got the sentence Thursday from U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo for fraud.
Cowie had someone else fill the prescriptions at local pharmacies and give some of the pills back to him.
“The purpose in publicizing today’s sentencing is not to try to shame or embarrass anyone, including Dr. Cowie, who unlawfully uses or distributes this poison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy in a released statement. “Rather, the purpose is to remind everyone—no matter who you are, whether you are a doctor or a derelict—that each of us will eventually be held accountable for the choices we make. Some, those that we catch, must answer in the criminal justice system. Sadly, many that we don’t catch, must answer with their lives. So my message today is that this Office will continue—with our law enforcement partners—aggressively to enforce the drug laws. We are not going to go away. Lives are at stake. If you are using these drugs—no matter who you are—then you need to get help, because if you don’t, you will end up either dead or, if you’re lucky, in jail.”
Officials say Cowie also tried to get a confidential witness to lie to insurance investigators about his alleged prescription fraud. They say as a result of the prescription fraud, Univera Health Care and HealthNow New York were fraudulently billed $20,482.83.