Doctor accused in airport meds case now charged with falsifying driver's license documents

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A doctor with an office at Kennedy Airport, who was accused earlier this month of selling oxycodone prescriptions, has been arrested on federal charges alleging that he falsely certified examinations for patients seeking commercial driver's licenses, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Dr. Gerald Surya was scheduled to make an initial appearance Tuesday afternoon at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

The 45-year-old doctor from Long Island is accused of certifying paperwork that said he examined applicants who were seeking commercial driver's licenses in New York. The law requires applicants for the specialized licenses — needed to operate school buses and heavy trucks — to undergo a medical examination by a doctor authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, in addition to the written and road tests.

Federal prosecutors say the patients who came to Surya's airport office were examined by staff members who had little or no medical training.

"Dr. Surya's conduct put at risk pedestrians as well as other drivers," Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said in a statement announcing his arrest.

Surya pleaded not guilty in state court earlier this month to 26 counts of criminal sale of a prescription after prosecutors said he had been caught selling oxycodone prescriptions to his patients.

In that case, prosecutors alleged Surya had been charging patients $60 for each prescription when they started their probe in 2013 and raised the price to $100 after investigators raided his airport office in July 2014.

Surya, who had a second office in Valley Stream, on Long Island, also sold prescriptions to people who didn't need them and sold multiple prescriptions to patients for their families and friends, according to Bridget Brennan, New York City's special narcotics prosecutor. Surya has treated airline pilots, but prosecutors said none of the patients who bought the prescriptions was a pilot.

His attorney in the state case, Robert Appleton, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not immediately clear who would represent him in federal court.