Dr. Richard Balsam was sentenced to 5 years of felony probation on Tuesday. He was also asked to give up his medical license. The 78 year old doctor had pleaded guilty to illegally selling prescriptions for narcotics in January. Judge Peter A. Lynch did the sentencing in Albany County Court. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had carried out an investigation on Balsam, following which he had been arrested in May 2014.
At least 180 hydrocodone pills were prescribed by Balsam on four occasions in April and May, without conducting a medical exam. He also did not ask patients questions relating to treatment keep medical records. He made the sales at a gas station parking lot on Western Avenue or at his house on Holmes Dale, said the Albany County District Attorney’s office.
When he was arrested, Balsam maintained that his patients needed the painkillers he prescribed them, despite evidence to the contrary. James Burns, assistant special agent of the DEA said that it was just sales and that there was no medical examination involved. His patients simply had to hand over the money, and Balsam gave them the prescriptions. Victor Caponera, his attorney, did not respond when asked for comment.
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