August 20, 2013
Lehigh County doctor charged with unlawfully prescribing Oxycodone
HARRISBURG - A Lehigh County doctor was charged today with conspiring to unlawfully prescribe more than 10,000 Oxycodone pills for resale.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane identified the defendant as John Manzella, M.D., 49, 1921 Lehigh Parkway North, Allentown, Lehigh County. Kane noted that Robert Kosch, a co-defendant in the case, has already been charged and is awaiting extradition from New Jersey.
Investigators say Dr. Manzella conspired with Kosch to fill Oxycodone prescriptions in fictitious names. Text messages allegedly show warnings sent from Kosch to Dr. Manzella about a pharmacy that would be calling to verify a prescription.
Prescriptions for Oxycodone from Dr. Manzella were filled in at least eight Pennsylvania counties including, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Schuylkill, according to investigators.
Agents believe that more than 10,000 pills with an estimated street value of $300,000 were dispensed due to Dr. Manzella's alleged misrepresentation and fraud.
Dr. Manzella is charged with 48 counts of unlawfully administering/prescribing a controlled substance, 48 counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of identity theft.
Dr. Manzella was preliminarily arraigned before Jim Thorpe Magisterial District Judge Edward Lewis and released on $500,000 unsecured bail. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and relinquished his DEA license to write scheduled drugs.
Kane thanked the Sussex County (New Jersey) Prosecutors Office for their assistance with the investigation.
The case will be prosecuted in Carbon County by Deputy Attorney General Robert Rosner of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
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