Crime

Cambridge dentist faces fraud charges for alleged involvement in prescription drug scheme

A Cambridge dentist accused of using his employees to fraudulently acquire medications for more than a decade pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Monday, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.

Dr. Maurice Zylber, 70, of Brookline, faces seven counts of obtaining a drug by fraud, authorities said. He was arraigned in Cambridge District Court and released.

“At a time when the opioid crisis continues to escalate, the defendant in this case allegedly used his ability as a dentist to prescribe pain killers for his own personal use,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. “This type of alleged behavior by a healthcare professional highlights the challenges that law enforcement encounters when working to prevent opioid abuse.”

Authorities say that one of Zylber’s former employees came to police in December, alleging that the dentist had written roughly 10 fraudulent prescriptions per year for her to fill. After she picked up the medications, she would bring them back to Zylber, who reimbursed her co-pay, according to the DA’s office.

The woman complied for 15 years, fearing she would lose her job if she refused, authorities said. She said that she lost her job after refusing to continue to fill the fraudulent prescriptions, according to the DA’s office.

An investigation revealed that another former employee had filled prescriptions as part of the scheme prior to being fired, authorities said.

Zylber is due back in court October 6.

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