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Flushing doc who prescribed addictive pills faces homicide chanrges after overdoses

TimesLedger Newspapers

A New Jersey doctor who ran a weekend pain management clinic in Flushing was charged with homicide Thursday after allegedly prescribing medication that led to the overdose of two of his patients, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor said.

Stan Xuhui Li, of New Jersey, is accused of operating a pill mill out of his 41st Road office, where he illegally prescribed highly addictive painkillers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl, as well as frequently abused anti-anxiety medications like Xanax, according to a new indictment filed with the State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“Dr. Li flouted the fundamental principle in medicine: first do no harm. He jeopardized lives by repeatedly prescribing dangerous controlled substances and narcotic drugs for cash, not medical need,” said Bridget Brennan, the prosecutor. “The medical community must take responsibility for policing itself and disciplining rogue doctors who abuse their prescribing privileges.”

The anesthesiologist is accused of causing the deaths of Joseph Haeg, 37, of Suffolk County and Nicholas Rappold, 21, of Queens.

The two new manslaughter charges are just the latest for Li. Over the course of a two-year investigation based on his treatment of 20 patients, prosecutors slapped him with more than 200 charges, including reckless endangerment, criminally prescribing a controlled substance and attempting to defraud Medicare, authorities said in the superseding indictment. He was originally charged last November.

Li would typically see 70 to 100 patients per day at his weekend clinic, where patients would line up outside in the morning, take a number and then pay in cash, according to the indictment.

Out of the 20 patients who formed the basis of the two-year investigation, seven of them died from overdoses, authorities said.

If convicted, Li faces a maximum of 47 1/2 years behind bars, according to prosecutors.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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