Doctor arrested for selling illegal prescriptions, found with $1.9 million, authorities say

Dr. Neelam Uppal has been arrested in a narcotics investigation, according to a sheriff's...
Dr. Neelam Uppal has been arrested in a narcotics investigation, according to a sheriff's office in Florida.(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:51 PM CDT
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) - Detectives in Florida say a doctor is under arrest for selling prescription drugs while writing false prescriptions.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation started in May when the Narcotics Division received information about fraudulent prescriptions being written and sold by a doctor.

According to detectives, Dr. Neelam Uppal, 62, was identified as potentially writing the illegitimate prescriptions, specifically for promethazine codeine syrup and oxycodone.

Detectives said Uppal had sold over 550 promethazine codeine syrup prescriptions and “hundreds” of oxycodone prescriptions this year while preying on drug addicts for several years.

During their investigation, authorities said Uppal prescribed the drugs to undercover detectives without seeing, examining or speaking to them.

Detectives reported they received the prescriptions from Uppal after paying her $650 for the promethazine codeine syrup and $450 for the oxycodone prescription.

Officials said Uppal is listed as an infectious disease doctor in Florida, but the health department showed the 62-year-old was on a probationary status.

On Tuesday, detectives served a search warrant at Uppal’s residence and business. They said while they were at her home, two people arrived to get additional fraudulent prescriptions.

The sheriff’s office said detectives located the following items in their search:

  • Multiple prescription pads
  • Minimal patient records and documents
  • Multiple handwritten ledgers
  • Multiple prescriptions filled out with a variety of patients’ names
  • $1.9 million in cash
  • Gold bars and jewelry valued at about $175,000

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said Uppal was charged with three counts of trafficking codeine and three counts of trafficking oxycodone. She was taken into custody and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.

Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Administration served Uppal with a civil injunction to revoke her ability to further prescribe medication.

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