STATEN ISLAND — A man accused of running a complex prescription drug ring on Staten Island has pleaded guilty, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Michael Mancusi, 27, of Staten Island, pleaded guilty in front of Judge Alan J. Meyer at Richmond County Supreme Court for illegally obtaining and selling thousands of prescription drugs throughout the city, New Jersey and Long Island.
"We have shut down a dangerous scheme that dealt illegal prescription drugs at the taxpayers’ expense," Schneiderman said in a release.
"The conviction of this major drug trafficker will make our streets safer and sends a message to would-be criminals to think twice before dealing drugs in New York State."
Mancusi pleaded guilty to second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and insurance fraud. He also pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second and third degree, and fourth degree conspiracy, the attorney general said.
He will be sentenced to seven years in state prison and five years post-release supervision, the attorney general said.
"This conviction takes one more poison peddler off of our streets, and ultimately may save dozens of families from suffering the tragic consequences of prescription pill abuse,” said Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan in a release.
“My office will continue to work with Attorney General Schneiderman to protect the public and combat this drug scourge that plagues our communities.”
Mancusi admitted in court to earning over $75,000 from sales of prescription drugs between 2011 and 2012, the attorney general said.
He also admitted that, after two motor vehicle accidents in 2007, he made false claims of injuries to claim car insurance no-fault benefits. He also filed filed multiple lawsuits fraudulently claiming serious injuries, the attorney general said.
He then used the claims to get Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare, the attorney general said.
In court, Mancusi admitted to visiting different doctors to receive prescriptions for oxycodine and other prescription drugs, which he would later sell for between $5 and $50 a pill, the attorney general said.
In addition to jail time, Mancusi signed a general release of his claims from his motor vehicle accidents, dropping pending lawsuits, and to forfeit nearly $47,070 and various jewelry found in a safe after a search warrant was issued, the attorney general said. He also gave up his two cars.
Charges against Mancusi’s girlfriend, Shannon Daniell, 23, of Staten Island, and four other defendants allegedly involved in the ring are still pending, the attorney general said.