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Schuster employee indicted

By The Mercury

The office manager for a Manhattan physician charged earlier this year with illegally prescribing pain medications has also been indicted by federal authorities.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced the indictment Wednesday of Sarah Harding-Huffine, 29. She is charged with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and one count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances. The indictment alleges Harding-Huffine used blank, pre-signed prescription forms to issue prescriptions for oxycodone, a Schedule II pain reliever.

Harding-Huffine worked for Dr. Michael P. Schuster at the New Medical Group PC, New Medical Group, Advisor’s Medical and Manhattan Pain and Spine at 1135 Westport Dr. Schuster was indicted in May on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

Grissom said Harding-Huffine was not a licensed health care provider and was not authorized to distribute controlled substances to Schuster’s patients. The indictment alleges she used blank prescription forms signed by Schuster to issue controlled substances. The indictment alleges 31 instances in which Harding-Huffine issued prescriptions for oxycodone while Schuster was out of the office traveling to other countries including Russia, South Africa, Canada, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Israel and Paraguay.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on each count.

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