A former UCSF gastroenterologist pleaded not guilty Thursday to fraud and other charges based on allegations that he illegally obtained thousands of doses of Ritalin, an attention deficit disorder drug and stimulant.
At a brief hearing in San Francisco Superior Court, Christian Mathy formally denied all nine charges, three counts each of issuing a false prescription, fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and forgery.
He declined comment as he left court with his attorney. He is free on $15,000 bail.
Prosecutors say Mathy was targeted by UCSF police after a local pharmacist became suspicious that Mathy may have been writing out prescriptions for Ritalin and then filling them himself.
Mathy allegedly wrote 86 fraudulent prescriptions over three years to obtain thousands of doses of the stimulant, which is a controlled substance and can be habit forming.
According to the affidavit, Mathy admitted to investigators that he had been “writing prescriptions for himself to a made-up name” for at least two years to help overcome “energy problems.”
He added that he had suffered depression and had been legally prescribed the same drug back in 2011.
Mathy told investigators he has now entered an addiction recovery program.
A check of a prescription monitoring database revealed, according to the affidavit, that Mathy “wrote multiple prescriptions for methylphenidate (Ritalin) and other controlled substance prescriptions (Alprazolam, Hydrocodone, Lorazepam, and Lunesta) to the fictitious names Joseph Ronald Greenwall, Joseph Ronald Greenwell, Ronald Greenwall and Ronald Greenwell going back to the year 2005.”