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Sarasota oncologist arrested, charged with prescription fraud

Michael Dattoli
Michael Dattoli(SCSO)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 5:22 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A prominent Sarasota oncologist was arrested Thursday and charged with prescription fraud, the Sarasota Police Department said.

Michael Dattoli, 64, head of the Dattoli Cancer Center, faces multiple charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, criminal use of personal identification information, and false and fraudulent insurance claims.

In August, Sarasota Police officers spoke with investigators with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Pharmaceutical Diversion Unit about a prescription fraud case in 2019-2020 involving a former employee at the cancer center and Dattoli.

Investigators with sheriff’s office said two Sarasota pharmacies filled prescriptions for Diazepam (Valium), a controlled substance, three times under Dattoli’s wife’s name.

In September, Sarasota police obtained copies of multiple prescriptions from several local pharmacies that were phoned-in throughout 2020 by the Dattoli Cancer Center. The prescriptions were filled and picked up the same day by Dattoli, who provided his driver’s license as identification.

The victim in the case, a former employee who worked at the Dattoli Cancer for approximately five years, told police officers that during a check of a database in September, he noticed several fraudulent prescriptions were written in 2020. Three of the fraudulent prescriptions were written to Dattoli’s wife, even though she was never seen by him as a patient.

In October, Dattoli’s wife told police she had never been a patient at the center, that the prescription was not hers and she has never taken the medications in question.

During investigation, police matched bank accounts and Florida Blue insurance accounts used to obtain the alleged fraudulent prescriptions.

Dattoli is being charged with three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud (Diazepam), three counts of criminal use of personal identification information, and three counts of insurance fraud. Dattoli is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail.

According to the cancer center website, Dattoli practiced at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York and at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center prior to relocating to Florida.

Dattoli serves on multiple journal editorial review boards and government advisory boards. He was selected by the International Association of Oncologists as a Leading Physician of the World and top brachytherapist.

Sarasota Police detectives believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Narcotics Unit at 941-263-6009 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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