Malverne, Franklin Square doctor indicted on opioid charges

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A Rockville Centre doctor was arraigned last week on a 54-count indictment, charging him for allegedly selling large amounts of opioid and amphetamine prescriptions to multiple people without examining them first. George Blatti, 74, was charged with 22 counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, six counts of second-degree forgery, two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and 22 counts of fourth-degree criminal diversion of prescription medications.
“The defendant – a longtime doctor – allegedly wrote multiple prescriptions for dangerous opioids and amphetamines in exchange for cash,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “Based on our investigation, Dr. George Blatti was not operating a legitimate medical practice, did not examine his customers and was selling scripts to drug-addicted individuals in parking lots across Nassau County. Thanks to an outstanding partnership with the Nassau County Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, this defendant was arrested and will now face justice for his alleged crimes.” According to Singas, the Nassau County Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit began investigating opioid overdoses in August 2018, revealing that several people had obtained prescriptions from Blatti. Blatti’s office on Arlington Avenue in Malverne — which he operated out of for several years — has been vacant for months, according to James lacchini, one of his former patients. Iacchini said that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were patients of his for nearly 30 years. In March, Iacchini said that Blatti had suddenly disappeared. In his years as one of Blatti’s patients, Iacchini said he followed all of the right procedures and that he properly treated him and his wife. “I wasn’t sure what happened exactly, but we just lost touch,” Iacchini recalled. “I thought he was a very good physician who treated my spouse and I very well over the years. I just hope to God that there’s no validity to this case.” Blatti, a general practitioner originally licensed to practice medicine in 1976, had no specialized training or accreditation in pain management, officials said. He maintained an office in a Franklin Square location that used to be a Radio Shack, and officials say, still had a Radio Shack sign and merchandise racks from Radio Shack on the walls. According to the indictment, Blatti met customers at his Franklin Square office, in a hotel parking lot in Rockville Centre and at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Rockville Centre. It is alleged that at least five customers, who were addicted to opioids, went to Blatti with what were essentially shopping lists and were prescribed drugs on demand. Blatti is alleged to have accepted cash from the buyers. The buyers allegedly asked for drugs, in specific quantities, and were issued prescriptions by Blatti for those drugs – and in those quantities – without ever being examined or referred to specialists for their condition or were told to get further testing for their conditions. Singas said Blatti was arrest on April 18 and voluntary surrendered his medical license to New York State authorities on June 24. Blatti is due back in court on Nov. 26. If convicted, Blatti faces a potential maximum sentence of more than 59 years.