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The Star-Ledger
N.J. psychiatrist pleads guilty to illegal prescriptions
By Jason Grant
September 15, 2012

Priscilla Ilem

Seen here is psychiatrist Priscilla Ilem, flanked by her son, who would not give his name, and her attorney Paul Brickfield as they leave the Federal Courthouse after her bail hearing

CAMDEN — An 85-year-old psychiatrist who recently practiced medicine from her home in Wayne admitted Friday to illegally selling prescriptions for a powerful pain medication as part of her practice, authorities said.

Priscilla Ilem, who reportedly practiced psychiatry for 40 years, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden federal court to distribution of oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice, authorities said.

The married mother of three faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and Ilem’s lawyer, Paul Brickfield. She has also agreed to forfeit $500,000, authorities said.

Her lawyer said Ilem’s license had been suspended because of the criminal charges and the former Army Reserve colonel will surrender her medical license.

Authorities, citing court statements and documents, said one Walgreens pharmacy filled 291 prescriptions in June and July 2011 for oxycodone based on Ilem’s prescriptions.

Authorities said that in July 2011, Ilem gave oxycodone prescriptions, without an examination and in exchange for payment, to undercover law enforcement officers posing as patients.

At sentencing, Brickfield said, he intends “to ask the court to consider her age, and the fact that prior to this she had a distinguished career, including the fact that she served … in the U.S. military.”

“She’s 85 years old, she has closed her practice, and she accepted responsibility for what happened,” he said.

Priscilla Ilem