‘Below Deck' Couple Arrested For Identity Theft In Prescription Drug Scheme

‘Below Deck' Couple Arrested For Identity Theft In Prescription Drug Scheme

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By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on December 14, 2023 at 7:30 PM EST

A couple, who both appeared on the hit Bravo reality show "Below Deck," were arrested after allegedly being involved in a prescription drug scheme.

Dr. Francis Martinis -- a urologist in Fort Salonga -- and his wife, Jessica, who both appeared in the hit franchise, are accused of stealing the identities of other cast members and using their personal information to write fake prescriptions for oxycodone, The Blast confirmed.

According to law enforcement officials, Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica are alleged to both be involved in this scheme, which initially began earlier this year.

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Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica Martinis Allegedly Caught In Prescription Drug Scheme

Investigators are dating the fake scripts back to January -- which is when they believe Jessica made her first attempt to fill a counterfeit oxycodone prescription at a pharmacy located in Kings Park. The prescription was handwritten, which is what raised eyebrows and prompted the pharmacist to call law enforcement.

After launching a further investigation, it was discovered that the doctor had sent dozens of prescriptions for oxycodone to Suffolk County pharmacies for over two years, many of which were written under the names of two "Below Deck" cast members.

Law enforcement officials confirmed those scripts were fake.

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Investigators also discovered that as part of the alleged plot, and in an attempt for the transactions not to be traced back to a credit card, Jessica would pick up the prescriptions and pay in cash.

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Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica Martinis Arrested

Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica were both arrested in May and charged with eight counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and falsifying business records.

"Doctors are supposed to be trusted members of the community and with that trust comes a tremendous amount of personal and professional responsibility,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney stated.

"Physicians are held to a high standard, as they take an oath to uphold a number of professional ethical standards when they begin their careers," he continued, adding, "The conduct Dr. Martinis allegedly engaged in with his wife not only violated this oath, but it also violated the law."

It is unclear if Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica were using the drugs, reselling the drugs, or both.

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Former New York Homeland Security Director Michael Balboni spoke out about the allegations against the reality television couple, raising awareness of just how serious this topic is -- especially amid an ongoing national addiction and overdose crisis.

"He abused the celebrity position that he had on that ship to take the identities of his crew members -- if that is proven -- and then use that to buy drugs, that is a common scheme for a common criminal," Balboni said.

He then concluded by saying, "Prosecutors will want to send a message to all other physicians -- you have special access to these drugs, you know how they work and if you do this you will be prosecuted."

Dr. Francis Martinis and Jessica Plead Not Guilty

Peter Crusco, an attorney for the couple, confirmed that both Dr. Francis Martinis and his wife, Jessica, have pleaded not guilty and believe that the "evidence will show the charges are bogus and cannot be substantiated."

"The DEA is rooted in an 'all hands on deck' approach to saving lives from illegal drug misuse and abuse through enforcement, education, and prevention," DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarantino stated.

He added, "We identified two individuals who brazenly diverted controlled substances intended for medicinal purposes to the illegal drug market. These arrests are a reminder that a doctor’s illicit drug diversion can lead to irreparable harm like the drug overdoses and poisonings currently plaguing our nation."

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The two better stay afloat as they are due back in court on January 25.

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