PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKBN) – A former doctor pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to unlawfully prescribing opioids to patients in the Pittsburgh area.
Andrzej Kazimierz Zielke, 66, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nora Fischer to four counts of unlawful dispensing Schedule II controlled substances, one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering.
According to prosecutors, Zielke knowingly distributed drugs like Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone and Oxymorphone to four patients outside the course of professional practice and without a medical reason.
Court records show that one incident happened in 2014, while the other three happened in 2017.
Zielke was also accused of causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicaid to cover the cost of the drugs.
“Andrzej Zielke recklessly funneled opioids into Pittsburgh neighborhoods, fueling the height of the epidemic that takes the lives of 13 Pennsylvanians every day,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “We’re working closely with our federal partners to combat this crisis that continues to destroy Pennsylvania families and communities.
He owned and operated Medical Frontiers, LLC in Gibsonia, Pa.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1, with a maximum per count sentence of 10 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both, for the controlled substance charges.
Zielke faces an additional maximum per count sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000 for the health care fraud charges; and a maximum per count sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000 for the money laundering charges.