Staten Island Doctor Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Oxycodone
Defendant Charged Cash for Writing Prescriptions Without Medical Examination
Felix Lanting, a Staten Island doctor, pleaded guilty today to illegally distributing oxycodone, a highly addictive prescription pain killer, outside the scope of his professional practice and not for any medical purpose. Lanting entered his plea before the Honorable Joan M. Azrack, United States Magistrate Judge, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.
According the charging documents filed at the time of his arrest in November 2010, Lanting sold approximately 3,029 prescriptions for oxycodone during a six-month period, or an average of 15 prescriptions per day, seven days per week. Four hundred and ninety of Lanting’s customers who received oxycodone prescriptions during this time period were under the age of thirty. The investigation, which culminated with sales to two undercover FBI agents, revealed that Lanting sold the prescriptions at a price of between $200 and $300 in cash without performing any medical examinations.
As a result of his guilty plea, Lanting faces an estimated Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment of between 37 to 46 months, and up to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment. As part of his guilty plea, Lanting has also agreed to forfeit approximately $116,000 in cash, as well as approximately one hundred 750-gram silver bars, which were seized from his medical office on November 16, 2010.
Oxycodone is a scheduled controlled substance that may be dispensed by medical professionals but only for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of a doctor’s professional practice. It is a powerful and highly addictive drug, and is increasingly abused because of its potency when crushed into a powder and ingested, leading to a heroin-like euphoria.
Ms. Lynch thanked the New York City Police Department; the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New York; for their invaluable assistance in the investigation.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean C. Flynn.
Name: FELIX LANTING
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