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ALBANY — A doctor from Clifton Park has been charged with a federal felony for allegedly handing out drug prescriptions without proper medical exams and with the intent of splitting drugs with patients, officials said.

Scott McMahon, 50, was arrested Monday after a multi-agency federal and state investigation that he wrote prescriptions “for no legitimate medical purpose” to children and others, taking “kickbacks” of drugs in exchange for the prescriptions, according to federal prosecutors.

He was charged with distributing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose between December 2018 and last April.

McMahon is a psychiatrist and principal in Transformative Medicine Center, which treats addiction and mental illnesses, and has practiced in Saratoga Springs and elsewhere around the Capital District.

He is accused of misusing Ritalin and buprenorphine prescriptions, issuing them in the names of children without exams, to the boyfriend of a patient and to patients who weren’t examined in exchange for some of the drugs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albany.

Ritalin is a stimulant while buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, is used by opioid addicts but has become in demand on the black market.

The patients involved were from the Albany area and southwestern Vermont, court records show.

Court records (attached to the online version of this article) include text message discussions between McMahon and those to whom he doled out prescriptions, apparently showing little to no medical interaction for prescriptions.

“U spare 20 rits (Ritalin)?” McMahon is alleged to have asked one patient.

“Of course I’ll give you what you need, ur (sic) my friend, not just my doctor,” the patient replied.

McMahon was ordered detained in an unspecified jail, pending a bail hearing Wednesday. He could lose his medical license if convicted. State records show he was still a registered physician with the state as of Tuesday.

No lawyer was listed for him in federal court records.

The inquiry was headed by the DEA Albany District Office’s Tactical Diversion Squad and its Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, and assisting with the investigation are the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the State Police, the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and the DEA Resident Office in Burlington, Vermont.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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