Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced that agents from the office’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations (BNI) have arrested Rameeza Chowdhury, the Program Director/Administrator for Berks Psychiatry Inc. and the alleged accomplice to Dr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Khan, the Reading doctor known as “Candyman” who allegedly prescribed controlled substances to drug-dependent patients.
Dr. Khan was arrested in October of last year after allegedly writing more than 3,100 prescriptions for more than 145,000 pills including Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax for patients without medical necessity. (Click here to read the Attorney General’s October press release announcing Dr. Khan’s arrest) The case was presented to the statewide investigating grand jury.
According to the grand jury, Chowdhury, as the office administrator, turned the normal mental health practice upside down by ensuring therapists’ input was used only after controlled substances were prescribed. Chowdhury allegedly directed associates at the practice to falsify documentation in the patient files to justify the prescriptions and was aware that billing codes were routinely being falsified. Chowdhury also allegedly ordered the therapists to falsify records in order to fool potential auditors from the state or insurance companies.
After Dr. Khan’s arrest, Chowdhury continued to work at the practice. According to the presentment, Chowdhury attempted to “coach” a witness on how to influence the grand jurors and convince them that the crimes at the practice were the fault of employees other than Chowdhury or Dr. Kahn. Chowdhury, in the following days, allegedly lied to the grand jury herself.
Chowdhury is charged with eight felonies including:
- One count, as an accomplice, of unlawful administration, dispensing, delivery, gift or prescription of a controlled substance (Schedule II) by a practitioner;
- One count, as an accomplice, of unlawful administration, dispensing, delivery, gift or prescription of a controlled substance (Schedule IV) by a practitioner;
- Two counts of insurance fraud;
- One count of criminal conspiracy to the unlawful administration, dispensing, delivery, gift or prescription of a controlled substance;
- One count of perjury for making false statements to the Grand Jury;
- One count of hindering apprehension or prosecution; and
- Two counts of corrupt organization.
Attorney General Kane thanked Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams and the Berks County Detectives for their assistance.
Chowdhury was preliminarily arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Stuart Kennedy, who set bail at $500,000. The preliminary hearing for Chowdhury and Dr. Khan is scheduled for Feb. 7.
(Source: Office of the Attorney General)