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Boro Councilman Charged With Prescription Fraud

Vincent Esposito faces distribution of a dangerous substance and conspiracy charges.

Vincent Esposito, a local doctor and Madison councilman, was arrested Thursday for alleged prescription drug fraud.

The arrest was made by officers from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after both agencies executed a search warrant of his Madison office at 322 Main St.

UPDATE: Esposito's future with council, school district remain uncertain

In a statement released Friday by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, officers from the Madison Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office helped with the arrest.

Esposito, 54, was charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and conspiracy, both second-degree charges.

The DEA and the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau had been investigating Esposito for a year on allegations that he was selling prescriptions of OxyContin and other forms of oxycodone to people he did not treat or examine, authorities said.

The statement alleges that Esposito wrote prescriptions for undercover agents and confidential informants "on at least eight occassions."

“In the case of the confidential informants, Esposito wrote prescriptions for 120 pills of 30 milligrams," the release said. "Thirty milligrams is considered a high dose of the potent narcotic painkiller. He allegedly provided the undercover agents with prescriptions for 30 or 60 pills of 30 milligrams.

“Esposito also allegedly provided individuals who visited his office with oxycodone prescriptions written for other individuals who never visited the office. It is alleged that Esposito typically charged $90 to write an oxycodone prescription for 120 pills of 30 milligrams.”

Madison Borough Attorney Joe Mezzacca said the doctor was taken to Newark for processing after his arrest on Thursday. He posted bail, he added.

Mezzacca couldn’t say what this arrest would mean to Esposito, who is a Republican councilman, serving a second term.

 “I cannot answer that,” Mezzacca said. “Certainly, it’s not a good thing.”

Robert Wickham, a pharmacist working at the Bottle Hill Pharmacy in downtown Madison, told Patch that the DEA had been in his store on Thursday for an audit. It was unannounced, he said and did not tie the pharmacy into the Esposito arrest.

“They ask questions, get their information and leave,” Wickham said.

Messages for Esposito were not immediately returned.

“This is an educated medical professional, who violated his oath to his patients, despite all the public awareness campaigns in New Jersey identifying the dangers of diverted pain medicine and the harm and pain they cause in our communities," said R. Crowell, special agent in charge of the DEA New Jersey Division.

"The defendant is a prime example of the problems fueling our drug threat in the region, and we are relieved he is out of business.”

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, the statement said.

Esposito surrendered his federal registration to write prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances, the statement said.

According to the statement, Thomas R. Calcagni, director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, issued an emergent order immediately suspending Esposito’s New Jersey CDS registration. 

“Because the danger of indiscriminate prescribing of highly addictive narcotics is so inimical to the public health and safety, I have taken this extraordinary step to ensure that Dr. Esposito will do no further harm to the people of the state of New Jersey," Calcagni said.

According to the statement, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners will consider additional action concerning Esposito’s state medical license.

Madison Station February 17, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Very unfortunate when those you trust and look up to let you down. A sad day for all.
Madison Cyclist February 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Can't wait to hear the lame excuses why he needed to do this. No matter. Lock him up and throw away the key. Don't forget to lift his medical license, too.
J February 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Ah, an exemplary representative of the self-appointed family values party. And now I suppose we wait for the other shoe to drop, which is the list of "patients" to whom he issued the "special" prescriptions.
Madison Station February 18, 2012 at 03:47 AM
I'm pretty sure that would break patient confidentiality laws...
Sammy February 18, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Once again the media words things in a manner that takes things out of context they said he charged $90 to write the script when in reality that $90 is for an office visit which all Dr's charge for
Sammy February 18, 2012 at 06:39 AM
Makes you wonder who he pissed off on the council because this has got to be political. He is a great guy and a great Dr, when no other Dr would see me because I didn't have insurance he welcomed me and helped. NOT GUILTY!!!!!
TiredofMadisonPolitics February 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM
@Sammy, I am not surprised that Dr. Esposito treated you without charging you, I have heard he is a very "good guy." However, it is asinine to suggest that this has got to be "political" or motivated because he "p*ssed someone off on the council." If you have ever been to a Council Meeting, he hardly says anything, let alone something to p*ss someone off. I also do not believe the DEA became involved because of any local politics. According to the article, they were conducting this investigation for over a year and have multiple persons to whom he allegedly sold pills. This is just sad, regardless of party affiliation.
Steve February 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Great!!! Who cares if he was good guy, he used poor judgement and chose to violate the law and used his position for personal gain. I guess in your mind he didn't know right from wrong. The Dumb man.
Steve February 18, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Read the article in full Madison Station, the people he wrote these prescriptions to were not his patients. They were scum off of the street that got word he was doing this and would show up at his office.So the confidentiality law doesn't apply to his postion as a "so called" doctor.
Ken February 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
@ Sammy, seriously now in this little town you think this was politically motivated? Like someone wanted to knock him off??? If he did do this he is a disgrace to his profession and to the Council, and what about his involvement in both youth and High school sports? Shame Shame Shame
Madison Station February 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM
steve, regardless of whether he actually "saw" the patients, I bet a crafty lawyer could twist writing a prescription for your "patient" and releasing that information to the press as a breach of patient confidentiality. Don't hold your breath to find out who he wrote the scripts out for.
Steve February 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
So what your saying is he was wrong and needs a "crafty" lawyer to wiggle him out this. Regardless, I don't care if this is a confidentiality case or who the patients are. He wrote sripts to people who showed no need for them and he supplied them with the dangerous drugs. What would you say if one of the "patients" overdosed and died? What is he another Michael Jackson doctor?!!!!
Steve February 18, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Awesome name Harry!!! That just goes to show what kind of people support this guy.
Sammy February 18, 2012 at 04:34 PM
If you guys want to be little sheep following everything the media tells you go right on and follow, I guess the old saying ignorance is bliss is true too bad I don't have that luxury.
TiredofMadisonPolitics February 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
@Sammy, I don't follow everything the Media says. However, I am curious if you are privy to information that either disputes this article, or supports your theory of a politically motivated persecution of Dr. Esposito. If so, please share!
Madison Station February 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Better call Saul!
Madison February 19, 2012 at 01:33 AM
The bottom line is he sold drugs to under cover agents on multiple times. Last time I checked that's not legal in the USA.
Anthony Russo February 19, 2012 at 07:50 PM
i've known Doc for 20yrs, i will never turn my back on him, or his family.
carmen A pico February 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I grew up with Dr. Esposito on north st. he comes from a respected family and he was and still is a caring person he always was there to help anyone who needed it. Before anyone sets judgement on him they should open their own closet and see what comes out.Doc was and will always be a friend of mine nomatter what the outcome . May GOD give you the strenght to weather this storm .
Rachel March 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Does anyone know how to obtain your medical records?

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