New Haven Register
Milford psychiatrist pleads guilty to federal narcotics charges
By Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register
November 30, 2016
In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson, Ljudmil Kljusev entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of health care fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The distribution charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and the health care fraud charge carries a maximum of 10 years, prosecutors said.
The plea agreement signed by both parties Wednesday states that the government and defense agreed that a sentence between 26 and 77 months would be appropriate in this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported Wednesday that Kljusev also agreed to forfeit his Milford offices to the government, the $173,095.20 that was found in his offices the day he was arrested, and an additional $117,431.13 he had in a business account. He has also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $76,983, according to the government.
Kljusev is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
Kljusev has been detained since his arrest on Nov. 12, 2015, court records show. He was denied bond that month by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Merriam who said she considered him a flight risk because of his citizenship in Canada and Macedonia.
According to prosecutors, Kljusev previously would make monthly visits to Macedonia to visit family, and he had significant assets in the country, including a bank account that contained more than $800,000.
The affidavit in this case alleges Kljusev was selling prescriptions for Adderall and Xanax for cash, and prescribing more than was needed by the patients. The cash accepted for the prescriptions and services were deposited into a business account, and then withdrawn to pay for personal expenses, the affidavit alleges.
Federal prosecutors have said in earlier hearings that during the search of Kljusev’s house, investigators found $200,000 in cash and several prescription pill bottles that were for patients who are not a part of Kljusev’s family.
“This doctor sold controlled substances out of his office for cash, like a common drug dealer,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly in a release Wednesday. “We are finding with increasing frequency that the types of pills he distributed are contributing to drug overdose deaths. They are incredibly dangerous if taken inappropriately and particularly toxic if combined with an opioid. We in law enforcement are committed to prosecuting medical professionals who recklessly and illegally put these and other prescription pills on the street.”
Back in March, Kljusev’s attorney filed a motion for the court to dismiss any statements Kljusev made to law enforcement following his arrest because, as a native of Macedonia, he does not have enough of a command of the English language or the legal system to have known better than to speak without a lawyer present.
In response to that motion, prosecutors argued Kljusev has been in the U.S. studying and practicing medicine since 2001 and is a naturalized citizen, so those claims were not valid. Kljusev is the son of Nikola Kljusev, who was the first prime minister of Macedonia.
Prosecutors also said that Kljusev allegedly told officers after his arrest that he planned to move back to Macedonia because of his arrest. The defendant also allegedly said he typically sees between 15 and 30 patients every day at his practice, and keeps thousands of dollars in a safe at the office until he can deposit the cash in the bank at the end of the week.
Dusan Bosotov, an employee of Kljusev, was also arrested last year and charged with similar offenses. According to the affidavit, investigators believed Bosotov would write prescriptions when Kljusev was traveling. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bosotov, who has been out on bond since his arrest, has received what is known as pre-trial diversion, meaning the charges against him will be dropped in 18 months if he does not break the law in that time.