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Doctors arrested for drug favors

From Chris Huntington
CNN

story.viagra.jpg
Three doctors have been arrested over supplying drugs to the Mafia.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
New York
Pharmaceuticals
Crime, Law and Justice

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Three doctors from the Westchester suburbs of New York City allegedly provided mob figures with erectile dysfunction drugs in exchange for various favors, the FBI said Thursday.

The FBI arrested the doctors -- Arlen Fleisher, Stephen Klass and George Shapiro -- for allegedly illegally providing large quantities of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra as well as other prescription drugs and drug samples to members of the Gambino crime family.

If convicted of illegally supplying the prescription drugs, Fleisher, Klass and Shapiro each could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday by David Kelley, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, FBI wiretaps revealed that Fleisher, Klass and Shapiro supplied the drugs for more than two years to Gambino family capo Gregory DePalma and his "crew" in return for various favors.

Those favors included receiving discounted prices for construction and auto repair work, done by Gambino family-controlled businesses; and use of DePalma's table at Rao's Italian restaurant in the Harlem section of New York City, according to the complaint.

The FBI said its investigation included a wiretap and a confidential source.

The bureau said the case against Fleisher, Klass and Shapiro grew out of the FBI and U.S. attorney's crackdown on the Gambino family operations that resulted in a 53-count criminal indictment against 32 members of the family, including acting boss Arnold Squitieri and capo DePalma.

On March 9, 31 of the 32 named in the indictment were arrested, including DePalma.


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