Ex-pharmacy owners to pay $1.25 million over illegal drug sales
The former owners of three pharmacies in San Diego have agreed to pay $1.25 million for having allowed their employees to illegally sell tens of thousands of tablets of the highly addictive prescription painkillers OxyContin and Vicodin, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Brothers Fadi and Ramsey Atiya and their uncle Akram "Max" Atiya also were required to sell the pharmacies -- Galloway Pharmacy, Park Boulevard Pharmacy and White Cross Pharmacy -- as part of the settlement with the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego. The Atiyas also relinquished their Drug Enforcement Administration registration to sell controlled substances.
The government alleged that the Atiyas kept such sloppy records that employees were able to order massive amounts of the painkillers and them sell them on the black market. Several employees have been convicted of drug charges.
U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy said that "abuse of powerful and highly addictive controlled substances is a growing problem in our community. This office will not tolerate cavalier treatment of painkiller inventories."
-- Tony Perry in San Diego