A doctor who appeared on a hit Bravo reality show was arrested on Long Island — accused of stealing the identities of cast members of the show in a scheme to obtain prescription drugs, according to law enforcement officials.
Dr. Francis Martinis — a urologist in Fort Salonga — and his wife, Jessica Martinis, who both appeared on the Bravo reality-show franchise “Below Deck,” are accused of allegedly using the personal information of other cast members to write bogus prescriptions for oxycodone.
Investigators said the scheme started to unfold earlier this year, when Jessica Martinis went to a pharmacy in Kings Park in an attempt to fill a bogus oxycodone prescription in January. According to those officials, the handwritten prescription raised concerns, prompting a pharmacist to call police.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the doctor had sent dozens of prescriptions for oxycodone to Suffolk County pharmacies over a two-year period, law enforcement officials said. Many of these prescriptions were allegedly fake — written under the names of two “Below Deck” cast members.
Investigators said that Jessica Martinis would pick up the prescriptions and pay in cash as part of the alleged plot.
The duo was arrested in May and charged with eight counts of criminal sale of controlled substance and falsifying business records, law enforcement officials said.
Investigators are not revealing whether they believe the couple was using or reselling the drugs, or both.
Former New York Homeland Security Director Michael Balboni said the allegations are serious, especially amid an ongoing national addiction and overdose crisis.
“He abused the celebrity position that he had on that ship to take the identities of his crew members — if that is proven — and then use that to buy drugs,” Balboni said. “That is a common scheme for a common criminal.”
The pair were among the guests who chartered Sirocco, a luxury yacht that set sail on the French Riviera in 2019 and had part of their trip documented for “Below Deck Mediterranean.” The doctor was a guest once again the following year, this time on another “Below Deck” spinoff, “Below Deck Sailing Yacht.” The series documented life on a 180-foot sailboat that cruised the Ionian Sea.
Following their appearances in the franchise, the doctor-and-wife duo attended promotional events with other crew members.
Peter A. Crusco, the attorney representing the couple, said his clients pleaded not guilty. "The evidence will show the charges are bogus and cannot be substantiated," he said.
Bravo, which is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, did not respond to a request for comment.