East Hartford Pediatrician Charged With Writing Illegal Prescriptions

An East Hartford pediatrician is accused of selling oxycodone prescriptions and certifications for medical marijuana cards.

Dr. Sheikh Ahmed, 55, of Orange, was arrested Wednesday on federal charges. On Thursday, he told NBC Connecticut that the allegations are not true.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ahmed operated a practice called East Hartford Medical Center at 580 Burnside Ave. in East Hartford. Officials said while he is a pediatrician, it does not appear he focused on children.

Prosecutors allege that between October 2017 and May 2018, the DEA investigated Ahmed using an undercover agent and an informant. During visits, Ahmed prescribed oxycodone and received cash, generally $500, for the prescription. Investigators said Ahmed did not conduct the appropriate medical examination when writing the prescriptions and offered tips on what dosage would be least likely to attract the attention of regulators and what pharmacies were lax about monitoring prescriptions.

According to the complaint, "…for the Oxycodone patients, approximately two-thirds of these files contain scanned documents, consisting mainly of blood pathology reports and EKG's. One-third of the Oxycodone patient files, however, did not have any scanned files at all. For the medical marijuana patients, the visits and notations in the files are minimal."

Prosecutors also allege that during one visit, Ahmed certified the patient for a medical marijuana card for $250 without asking the patient about whether he suffered a condition that required it. 

Ahmed has certified approximately 165 patients for medical marijuana cards, most often using the diagnosis of “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Ahmed was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and aiding and abetting the possession of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. He was released on a $200,000 bond.

During a phone call, Ahmed said the allegations are not true and that he is looking for an attorney.

If convicted, Ahmed could face up to 20 years in prison. Earlier this year, he was convicted of health insurance fraud.

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