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      Federal prosecutors reach settlement with Syracuse doctor in prescription drugs case

      Federal prosecutors have reached a settlement with a Syracuse doctor accused of violating a law regarding prescription drugs.

      Dr. William Beals, of Liverpool, will pay $60,000 and will voluntarily surrender his DEA number, which allows physicians to prescribe controlled substances.

      In February 2012, DEA investigators inspected Dr. Beals' office and questioned him about controlled substances bought between March 8, 2010 and January 25, 2012.

      According to the complaint filed in connection with the settlement, Dr. Beals had ordered approximately 5,000 Hydrocodone pills, and 1,100 Zolpidem pills . Prosecutors say Dr. Beals was unable to provide purchase, dispensing, or destruction records for these drugs and he could not account for their whereabouts in any way.

      The Controlled Substances Act was enacted to ensure that controlled substances are properly regulated and to help prevent drug diversion. To that end, practitioners who dispense controlled substances are required to properly maintain complete and accurate inventories and records of all controlled substances that they purchase, receive, dispense, or destroy.

      Federal prosecutors say they take drug diversion very seriously and will aggressively pursue those who violate the law, especially if they are professionals in the medical field. "It simply is unacceptable for medical professionals to act irresponsibly when handling controlled substances. The potential for these substances to end up in the wrong hands is something we are not willing to risk, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent this from happening."