Dr. Joseph Santiamo, 65, a Staten Island doctor with a geriatric practice, pleaded guilty to prescribing oxycodone to patients under 40 in exchange for sexual favors, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
“This defendant knowingly prescribed for his patients dangerous quantities of oxycodone, and even more egregiously, solicited sexual favors from certain patients who were struggling with substance abuse in exchange for writing them additional opioid prescriptions,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “Many of these patients were dealing with pain and addiction, and instead of getting help from their doctor, they were drawn deeper into the cycle of drug abuse. His admission of guilt today ensures that he will be appropriately punished for this behavior.”
“This defendant not only violated his oath to help people, he took advantage of them when they were most vulnerable for his own selfish needs,” Susan A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, said. “The only difference between him and a person who deals drugs on the street is the white lab coat he wears. The men and women of the DEA are always committed to pursue those who choose to violate the law.”
The count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 12, 2021.