NY: Albany Doctor Admits to Violating the Controlled Substances Act

Dr. Larry Bruni Resolves Allegations of Writing Unlawful Prescriptions

Dr. Larry Bruni has agreed to pay the United States $50,000 to resolve allegations that on numerous occasions from 2016 through 2020, he prescribed controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose or outside the usual course of a professional medical practice, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.  Dr. Bruni also agreed to surrender DEA registration, and will not seek another DEA registration for at least 15 years.  The amount of the civil penalty is based on Dr. Bruni’s inability to pay a higher amount.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

“Prescription pads are for the medication patients need, not drugs they want,” said Antoinette T. Bacon, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York.  “We will continue to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce the Controlled Substances Act by pursuing civil remedies when there is evidence that physicians have violated their oath to do no harm by writing unlawful prescriptions.”

“Instead of providing appropriate treatment and a safe haven for patients, Dr. Bruni perpetuated the cycle of addiction,” said Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, DEA New York Division.  “I commend the Northern District of New York and the Diversion Investigators of the Albany District Office for their resolve to this investigation. DEA and our dedicated partners will continue to investigate those DEA Registrants who choose to neglect their duties and harm those they swore to protect.”

The Settlement Agreement resolves allegations that while Dr. Bruni purported to treat patients for substance abuse, he actually facilitated continued addiction and drug abuse.  Examples of conduct include:

  • Prescribing Adderall to a patient Dr. Bruni knew was abusing cocaine and methamphetamines, contributing to a high risk of heart attack or stroke for that individual;
  • Prescribing Adderall to a patient who repeatedly tested negative for having taken Adderall, suggesting that those prescriptions were not medically necessary or that the medication was being diverted to the illegal market;
  • Prescribing ketamine to patients to self-administer even though that drug is typically administered only in a medical setting because it induces a trance-like and dissociative state.  In one case, a patient was injured at work while under the influence of ketamine; and
  • Prescribing fentanyl strips for a patient who had ongoing substance abuse problems and ultimately died of fentanyl intoxication.

The DEA suspended Dr. Bruni’s DEA Registration in March 2021, which Dr. Bruni agreed to surrender in June 2021.  As a result, Dr. Bruni is no longer able to write prescriptions for controlled substances.  Pursuant to the Agreement, Dr. Bruni also agreed not to reapply for a DEA registration for at least 15 years.

This case was investigated by the DEA Albany District Office Diversion Group.   Assistant United States Attorney Christopher R. Moran represented the United States in this matter.

DOJ Press Release

Tags: Opioid Crisis

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