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Formal charges filed: Doctor to be arraigned in October

Published August 21. 2013 05:04PM

The Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Tuesday formally charged Dr. John R. Manzella with conspiring to unlawfully prescribe more than 10,000 Oxycodone pills for resale.

Manzella, 49, of Allentown, was preliminarily arraigned before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe on 48 countsof unlawfully administering/prescribing a controlled substance, 48 counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of identity theft.

He was released on $500,000 unsecured bail, meaning he did not have to post cash or property to remain free. Manzella waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and relinquished his DEA license to write scheduled drugs.

Manzella, who maintained a practice, Manzella Family Health Care in Jim Thorpe, is scheduled for formal arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 15 before Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias.

Court documents concerning the charges were filed with Lewis on July 23. The documents detailed the charges, which stem from what Agent Joe Collazo then described as a $400,000 prescription painkiller scheme involving Robert J. Kosch of Newark, N.J.

Kosch was charged in June with using fraudulent prescriptions in 2011 and 2012 to obtain 17,740 Oxycodone pills from three Carbon County pharmacies.

He is awaiting extradition from New Jersey.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by agent Jose Collazo of the Office of the State Attorney General, Manzella created fictitious patients for whom the painkillers were prescribed.

A press release issued Tuesday by Kane said that agents believe that more than 10,000 pills with an estimated street value of $300,000 were dispensed due to Manzella's alleged misrepresentation and fraud. The prescriptions were filled in Carbon, Schuylkill, and other counties.

On Aug. 2, the Probable Cause Screening Committee of the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine temporarily suspended the license to practice.

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