Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that the state Board of Medical Examiners has permanently revoked the licenses of two physicians as a result of their criminal convictions in unrelated cases.
Officials say Dr. George Beecher, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Warren, who conspired to supply a drug ring with tens of thousands of high-dose opioid painkillers, agreed to surrender his medical licenses for permanent revocation under a plea agreement reached with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice last month.
According to authorities, Dr. Zahid Aslam, an NJ-licensed OB-GYN practitioner who conspired to commit bank fraud in Delaware, agreed to surrender his medical licenses for permanent revocation under a plea agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware in November.
“There is no room in New Jersey’s medical profession for physicians who break the law, as these two men did,” said Attorney General Grewal. “As a result of their actions, Dr. Beecher and Dr. Aslam are not only facing serious criminal consequences, they are forever banned from practicing medicine in this state.”
“The doctor-patient relationship is rooted in trust, a trust that is undermined when doctors abandon their professional ethics in pursuit of self-serving criminal activities,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “We believe the vast majority of physicians in this state uphold the highest standards of practice. By bringing enforcement actions such as these, we are protecting the public as well as the integrity of the medical profession.”
Officials say Beecher, a 78-year-old resident of New Providence, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison last month after pleading guilty to second-degree charges of conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone.
The charges were the result of “Operation Busted Script,” an investigation by the Attorney General’s Prescription Fraud Investigation Strike Team, a team of detectives and attorneys in the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau that targets corrupt healthcare professionals and “pill mills.”
The investigation revealed that Beecher, in order to supply the drug ring, wrote prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose for tens of thousands of 30 mg oxycodone pills in the names of people he never examined, treated, or even met.
Police arrested Beecher in December 2015 and has been temporarily suspended from practice under a Consent Order he entered with the Board in January 2016. While Aslam, a 46-year-old resident of Elkton, MD, had practices in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Scotch Plains, New Jersey. In November 2018, he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of making a false statement to a financial institution in connection with a scheme to commit bank fraud in a case brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Delaware. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May 2019.
According to the charges contained in an indictment handed up by a grand jury in Delaware in June 2017, Aslam entered into a bank fraud scheme with a loan officer at a Delaware bank in which Aslam recruited two other associates to misrepresent in loan applications that they were the true borrowers and operators of medical practices, when in actuality Aslam owned and operated the practices and ultimately controlled the loan proceeds.
Authorities say Aslam has been temporarily suspended from practice in New Jersey under an Interim Consent Order he entered with the Board in October 2018. On January 16, 2019, under a Consent Order of Permanent Revocation of Licensure, Aslam agreed to a permanent revocation of his New Jersey medical license.
Under the terms of their respective Consent Orders with the Board, Beecher and Aslam are permanently precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities in New Jersey and must divest themselves from any current and future financial interest in or benefit derived from the practice of medicine.