NEWARK, NJ- A Paterson based podiatrist who was sentenced to 36 months in prison earlier this year for defrauding Medicare and private insurance companies out of $3 million has had his podiatric license suspended for five years following a complaint that was filed against him by the State of New Jersey for prescriptions he issued to patients for painkillers and other drugs.

According to a statement by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs, Dr. Anthony Enrico, 60, who also had offices in Passaic and Elizabeth, was one of five medical professionals to have their licenses revoked on Thursday in unrelated cases involving the prescription of opioids, anabolic steroids, or other controlled substances.

Between 2011 and 2016, the statement read, Enrico “demonstrated gross negligence and endangered the welfare of patients he treated” by prescribing dangerous controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, failing to treat his patients for underlying podiatric conditions, and prescribing medications like Xanax and Ambien to treat conditions unrelated to his medical field.

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“Doctors are entrusted with the authority to prescribe dangerous drugs, but it is a power they must wield responsibly,” Grewal said. “Physicians who indiscriminately prescribe dangerous drugs for profit are no better than street-corner drug dealers.”

Under the terms of the agreement Enrico is ineligible to reapply for a podiatric license until five years from the date he agreed to stop practicing medicine, which was February 8, 2017. Enrico must further appear before the Board of Medical Examiners to demonstrate his fitness to resume practice and is required to reimburse the Board $20,000 for its investigation costs and attorney fees.