Doc who ran Queens pill mill indicted for manslaughter in patient deaths
An anesthesiologist who provided more than 2,500 pain pills to the man now serving a life sentence for killing four people in a Long Island pharmacy robbery was indicted by NYC's special narcotics prosecutor Thursday morning.
Dr. Stan Xuhui Li, 58, of Hamilton, N.J., faces two counts of manslaughter and other charges involving reckless endangerment, criminal sale of controlled substances and schemes to defraud Medicare and insurance companies.
The 219-count indictment against Li, who allegedly operated a weekend pill mill in Flushing that catered to addicts, is thought to be the first in which a physician faced New York State manslaughter charges for a prescription drug overdose death.
While Li faces manslaughter charges in the deaths of Joseph Haeg, 37, and Nicholas Rappold, 21, who died within days of receiving drugs from Li, the two-year investigation revealed that Li was also the prescribing physician in 14 other overdose deaths, said a law enforcement source.
Li, who was in custody Thursday trying to arrange his $750,000 bond/$250,000 cash bail, pleaded not guilty.
"We believe the charges to be without substance, to have been politically motivated and to have been presented in a grossly distorted fashion," said his lawyer, Raymond W. Belair, in a statement. "Dr. Li continues to believe that any fair-minded evaluation of his pain management practice will find that he acted in conformity with the proper practice of medicine. He looks forward to vigorously defending himself and in his eventual vindication," Belair added.
Li, whose medical license and hospital admitting privileges are now suspended, had also prescribed drugs to David Laffer of Medford who is now serving life in prison for killing four people in a pharmacy before fleeing with thousands of pills.