Bradenton doctor to enter intervention, avoid prison

Published: 2010-11-22 19:15:47
Author: TIMOTHY R. WOLFRUM | | November 22, 2010

MANATEE — A Bradenton chiropractor charged with illegally obtaining testosterone for personal use will avoid prison time if he completes a court-ordered intervention program.

In a Nov. 9 order, Manatee Circuit Court Judge Debra Riva referred Dr. David S. Zamikoff to Florida’s first-time drug offender pre-trial intervention program.

The 40-year-old Zamikoff, who still practices at Natural Healing Arts Medical Center, 2215 59th St. W., was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud after being arrested Feb. 22 at his office. The third-degree felony carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to court records, Zamikoff forged the signature of Dr. Michael G. Yaffe, a neurologist who once practiced at Natural Healing Arts, and used Yaffe’s Drug Enforcement Administration registration number to obtain testosterone from a Fort Lauderdale-area pharmacy.

Zamikoff’s attorney, Derek Byrd, said pre-trial intervention is common for first-time drug offenders. The intervention agreement did not include an admission of guilt, Byrd said.

“What was unusual was the state didn’t agree to it, and we had to file a motion with the court,” Byrd said. “What made a big difference (in Zamikoff’s favor) was the drug he was obtaining was testosterone, an anti-aging drug, not a narcotic.”

Assistant State Attorney Shanna Hourihan said the state fought the pre-trial intervention for Zamikoff because his actions caused harm to Yaffe.

“Although he (Zamikoff) was eligible ... we didn’t think intervention was appropriate in this case because there was a victim,” Hourihan said.

Zamikoff was unavailable for comment. A receptionist at his office said he was seeing patients Monday.

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