UNITED STATES NEWS

NY doctor and wife who appeared on Bravo’s ‘Below Deck’ charged with fake opioid prescription scheme

Dec 14, 2023, 12:37 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A doctor and his wife who appeared on the Bravo reality series “Below Deck” were arraigned on drug charges in New York on Thursday for allegedly filling out bogus opioid prescriptions using the names of cast members from the show.

Urologist Francis Martinis and his wife, Jessica Martinis, of Fort Salonga, New York, were each charged with criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance by a practitioner and falsifying business records.

Francis Martinis, 55, and Jessica Martinis, 38, appeared in state court in Riverhead on Long Island after first being arrested in May. They both pleaded not guilty, according to their attorney. The couple were released without bail and are due back in court Jan. 25.

Prosecutors said Francis Martinis transmitted prescriptions for the opioid drug oxycodone to Long Island pharmacies with the names of “Below Deck” cast members listed as the purported patients. Jessica Martinis then picked up the drugs and paid in cash, prosecutors said.

Jessica Martinis first raised red flags in January 2023 when she tried to fill a handwritten prescription for oxycodone in someone else’s name, prosecutors said.

An investigation turned up evidence of numerous fake oxycodone prescriptions that Francis Martinis had written with the names of cast members from the reality show, authorities said.

None of the oxycodone was actually intended for the people named in the prescriptions, prosecutors said.

“Physicians are held to a high standard, as they take an oath to uphold a number of professional ethical standards when they begin their careers,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement. “The conduct Dr. Martinis allegedly engaged in with his wife not only violated this oath, but it also violated the law.”

Frank Tarentino, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s special agent in charge for New York, said, “These arrests are a reminder that a doctor’s illicit drug diversion can lead to irreparable harm like the drug overdoses and poisonings currently plaguing our nation.”

The couple’s attorney, Peter Crusco, called the charges bogus.

“My clients have pled not guilty and are presumed innocent, and look forward to their day in court to clear their names,” Crusco said in a text message.

“Below Deck,” which premiered on Bravo in 2013, follows crew members on board a luxury yacht and the passengers they cater to.

The Martinises appeared on the spinoff “Below Deck Mediterranean” in 2019, and Francis Martinis also appeared on “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” the following year.

A representative for NBCUniversal, Bravo’s parent company, declined to comment.

United States News

Associated Press

Police say suspect, bystander hurt in grocery store shootout with officers

CINCINNATI (AP) — A suspect with a gun and a bystander inside a grocery store near Cincinnati were shot and injured during a shootout with officers, police said. Officers in Colerain Township responded to a call about shots fired at a Kroger store Wednesday, and when they arrived the suspect pointed a gun at police […]

10 minutes ago

Associated Press

Medline recalls 1.5 million adult bed rails following 2 reports of entrapment deaths

NEW YORK (AP) — Medical supply company Medline Industries is recalling some 1.5 million portable adult bed rails across the U.S. and Canada, following two reports of entrapment deaths associated with the products. The recall impacts two models of Medline’s “Bed Assist Bars.” According to a Thursday announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

South Dakota man arrested and charged in Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota man pushed a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and was among those who shoved a large metal “Trump” sign into a police line, the U.S. Department of Justice said. William George Knight, 37, of Rapid City, was arrested by the […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Amazon gets FAA approval that allows it to expand drone deliveries for online orders

Federal regulators have given Amazon key permission that will allow it to expand its drone delivery program, the company announced Thursday. In a blog post posted on its website, Seattle-based Amazon said that the Federal Aviation Administration has given its Prime Air delivery service the OK to operate drones “beyond visual line of sight,” removing […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

US District Judge Larry Hicks dies at 80 after being struck by vehicle near Nevada courthouse

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Larry Hicks, a federal judge in Nevada for more than 20 years, died after being struck by a vehicle near the courthouse in Reno, authorities and his family said. He was 80. Hicks was a pedestrian struck at an intersection Wednesday afternoon, taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, Reno police […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Police dismantle pro-Palestinian camp at Wayne State University in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Police broke up a pro-Palestinian encampment Thursday at Wayne State University in Detroit and arrested at least eight people after organizers turned down offers to meet with school officials and refused to leave. President Kimberly Andrews Espy cited health and safety concerns and disruptions to campus operations. Staff were encouraged to work […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

NY doctor and wife who appeared on Bravo’s ‘Below Deck’ charged with fake opioid prescription scheme