Doctor Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Scheme To Illegally Distribute Massive Quantity Of Oxycodone
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Dr. EMMANUEL LAMBRAKIS, a state licensed doctor, pled guilty to conspiring to unlawfully distribute medically unnecessary oxycodone. LAMBRAKIS pled guilty on November 26, 2019 before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, and will be sentenced by Judge Pauley on February 7, 2020. LAMBRAKIS previously pled guilty on March 1, 2018 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, but later withdrew his plea. Trial against LAMBRAKIS had been scheduled to start on December 2, 2019.
According to the Complaint, the Indictment to which LAMBRAKIS pled guilty, and other court documents, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
Oxycodone is a highly addictive, narcotic opioid that is used to treat severe and chronic pain conditions. Oxycodone prescriptions are in high demand and have significant cash value to drug dealers. In fact, oxycodone tablets can be resold on the street for thousands of dollars. For example, 30-milligram oxycodone tablets have a current street value of approximately $20 to $40 per tablet in New York City, with street prices even higher in other parts of the country. A single prescription for 120 30-milligram tablets of oxycodone can net an illicit distributor $2,400 in cash or more.
From at least approximately January 2011 until December 2016, LAMBRAKIS operated two medical clinics in Queens, New York, where LAMBRAKIS wrote numerous medically unnecessary prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone in exchange for cash payments. LAMBRAKIS typically charged between $250 to $150 in cash for “patient visits,” and these visits often involved numerous “patients” being seen by LAMBRAKIS at the same time in the same examination room. During these “patient visits,” LAMBRAKIS would perform simple, perfunctory body manipulations (such as rotating the patient’s arm or leg) and engage in little or no conversation with the purported “patient.” Nonetheless, LAMBRAKIS would then issue to the patient a prescription for a large quantity of oxycodone, most often 120 30-milligram tablets or more.
Between January 2011 and December 2016, LAMBRAKIS wrote thousands of oxycodone prescriptions, resulting in the illicit distribution of more than two million oxycodone tablets, which have a street value in the tens of millions of dollars. On numerous occasions, LAMBRAKIS wrote 100 or more prescriptions for 30-milligram oxycodone pills in a single day. As a result of LAMBRAKIS’s actions, LAMBRAKIS collected approximately more than $2 million in fees from his “patients.”
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LAMBRAKIS, 72, of Manhattan, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. This offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad, which comprises agents and officers from the DEA, the NYPD, the New York State Police, Town of Orangetown Police Department, Rockland County Drug Task Force, Westchester County Police Department, and New York City Department of Investigation. He also acknowledged the assistance of the Department of Health & Human Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the New York City Human Resources Administration, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly J. Ravener, Jessica K. Fender, Ryan Finkel, Sarah Mortazavi, and Joshua A. Naftalis are in charge of the prosecution.