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Press Release

Former Medical Practice Employee Pleads Guilty To Obtaining Controlled Substances By Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Shannon Lambert, 33, of Canandaigua, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to obtaining controlled substances by fraud and identify theft. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, stated that between 2011 and February 2019, the defendant was employed at Cornerstone Eye Associates in Rochester. Through her position, Lambert had access to Cornerstone’s internal computer databases, including an electronic prescription program which doctors at Cornerstone used to write and submit prescriptions to pharmacies on behalf of their patients.

Between approximately January 2018 and February 2019, the defendant accessed Cornerstone’s electronic prescription program and issued 73 fraudulent prescriptions in her name or the names of her family members. Lambert then had those prescriptions filled, and she picked them up from local pharmacies. The defendant used the name and an authentication device of an ophthalmologist who worked at Cornerstone, without their authorization, to issue the prescriptions. The 73 prescriptions totaled approximately 5,048 dosage units of Schedule II controlled substances, including hydrocodone and oxycodone. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division. 

Sentencing is scheduled for December 16, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Wolford.

Updated September 13, 2019