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Four Charged in Alleged Opioid Distribution Network Run from Morris County Physician’s Office

By kbm0423 on
Morris County

Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) today announced criminal charges against a medical staff member and three other individuals allegedly operating an opioid distribution network from a physician’s office in Morris County.

The charges result from an investigation led by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and the Parsippany Police Department, in conjunction with the Division of Consumer Affairs.

All four individuals were charged with third-degree conspiracy and third-degree obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to illegally distribute opioids obtained through forged prescriptions purportedly written by Dr. Leslie Feigin, a geriatric medicine practitioner in Denville.

They are:

  • Rachel Welch, 36, of Lake Hiawatha, an employee in Feigin’s medical office. Welch is also charged with three counts of forgery and four counts of distribution of CDS, all in the third degree.
  • Kevin Jarvis, 35, of Lake Hiawatha, who allegedly used Welch’s position at the medical practice to facilitate the illegal transactions. Jarvis is also charged with three counts of forgery and four counts of distribution of CDS, all in the third degree.
  • Edward Williams, 34, of Netcong and Dylan Matus, 23, of Maywood, who allegedly purchased opioids in the scheme.

Feigin was not criminally charged in the scheme, but as a result of the investigation, the State Board of Medical Examiners permanently revoked his license to practice medicine in New Jersey.

“Medical office employees who use their trusted positions to divert prescription opioids pose a grave risk to public health and undermine statewide efforts to combat the addiction epidemic in New Jersey,” Acting Attorney General Platkin said. 

“The charges announced today send a clear message that we are committed to shutting down illegal CDS pipelines into our communities and holding accountable anyone involved in the trafficking of dangerous, habit-forming prescription medications.”

The illegal opioid distribution network was discovered during an investigation opened after a tip that Feigin was engaged in the indiscriminate prescribing opioid medications.

Welch, who is not a licensed medical provider, allegedly conspired with her co-defendants to unlawfully forge and submit electronic prescriptions for Oxycodone purportedly authorized by Feigin.

According to the charges filed, four illegal transactions took place between May 2020 and August 2021.

They are:

  • A May 6, 2020 transaction wherein Welch submitted a forged, fraudulent prescription for 60 Oxycodone pills to a pharmacy in Williams’ name at the request of Jarvis, who did not work in Feigin’s office. Williams picked up the prescription. Jarvis then paid Welch $525.
  • A February 18, 2021 transaction wherein Jarvis allegedly sold pills obtained via a forged, fraudulent Oxycodone prescription submitted by Welch and then paid her $500.
  • A May 14, 2021 transaction wherein Jarvis allegedly sold pills obtained via a forged, fraudulent Oxycodone prescription submitted by Welch and then paid Welch $900.
  • A July 7, 2021 transaction wherein Welch submitted a forged, fraudulent prescription for 90 Oxycodone pills to a pharmacy in the name of Matus at the request of Jarvis. Matus picked up and signed for the prescription. Welch then sent Jarvis $40 to partially cover the cost the pharmacy charged for the prescription.

Welch, Williams and Matus were charged by complaint summonses on July 27, 2022, and were processed and released. 

Jarvis was taken into custody the same day and held in the Morris County Jail. Following a first appearance, Jarvis was released with conditions pending trial.

Although the criminal investigation did not give rise to charges against Feigin, it did provide the basis for administrative allegations on the part of the Division of Consumer Affairs that the physician engaged in gross and repeated negligence, professional misconduct, and other violations statutes and/or regulations administered by the Board of Medical Examiners, including that he indiscriminately prescribed CDS and failed to perform required checks of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program.  

In a Consent Order filed with the Board on June 25, 2022, Feigin agreed to retire and have his medical license permanently revoked.

“Health care professionals authorized to prescribe opioids and other controlled dangerous substances have a duty to comply with controls in place to prevent diversion and abuse. This includes making required checks of Prescription Monitoring Program records and taking steps to safeguard their prescription blanks against unauthorized access,” Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, said. 

“By revoking this physician’s license, the Board has ensured that he will no longer be in a position to provide easy access to addictive medications and undoubtedly saved lives in the process.”