NY: Nurse Practitioner Arrested, Charged with Selling Oxymorphone

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Michael Ostolski, 55, of North Tonawanda, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute oxymorphone. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that Ostolski is a nurse practitioner working at Acacia Family Health in Lockport, NY, and is authorized to prescribe and dispense controlled substances. According to the complaint, Ostolski over-prescribed oxymorphone dosage units to select individuals who were patients, who then agreed to sell all or a portion of the prescribed pills for a financial profit. The patients were expected to give Ostolski the profits from the sale during their next office visit. The office visits were being billed to insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. Data from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement shows that between August 2021, and September 2023, Ostolski prescribed his co-conspirator patients collectively approximately 123 controlled substance prescriptions of oxymorphone, totaling in excess of 13,000 oxymorphone pills.

During the course of the investigation, investigators conducted several controlled purchases of oxymorphone from Ostolski, and multiple controlled office visits with Ostolski, during which he received cash payments.

Ostolski made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the following law enforcement agencies:  Drug Enforcement Administration Buffalo District Office; New York State Attorney General’s Office; New York State Department of Health Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement; Lockport Police Department; Lockport Police Department QRT; New York State Police; Buffalo Police Department; Niagara Falls Police Department; New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; Immigration, Customs Enforcement ERO; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions

Patients receiving treatment at this practice who need a new medical provider have several options. Individuals seeking access to primary care or pain management service can find a provider through a local Federal Qualified Health Center which may be located here: https://www.chcanys.org/find-health-center, Patients with insurance may contact their health insurance company. Those who are struggling with their intake of opioids in Western New York can call this hotline 716-463-6222 at NYMATTERS or call the OASAS 24/7 HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY or texting HOPENY (467369).

The New York State Department of Health wishes to reassure practitioners that they will not be subject to heightened scrutiny for their prescribing practices merely because they treat some of these patients, nor merely because their prescribing levels may increase as a result of their medically-necessary and appropriate treatment of these patients.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Tags: Opioid Crisis

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