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March 01, 2018
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 212-337-2906

Doctor pleads guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to scheme to illegally distribute oxycodone

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) - Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division announced that Dr. Emmanuel Lambrakis, a state licensed doctor, pleaded guilty today to writing medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone. Lambrakis pleaded guilty earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, and will be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III at a later date.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Dr. Emmanuel Lambrakis took a solemn oath to ‘first do no harm.’ Instead, as he admitted in federal court today, Lambrakis chose to write prescriptions for unnecessary, addictive, and possibly fatal opiates for his ‘patients.’ Today, this doctor who used his position as cover for what amounted to no more than a common drug dealing operation, faces serious prison time for his actions.”

According to allegations in a Complaint and other documents filed in federal court, 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 $30 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 prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone in exchange for cash payments. Lambrakis typically charged $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 alleged “patient.” Nonetheless, Lambrakis would then cause the patient to receive a prescription for a large quantity of oxycodone, most often 120 30-milligram tablets or more.

Between January 2011 and the present, Lambrakis wrote thousands of oxycodone prescriptions, resulting in the distribution of more than a million oxycodone tablets, which have a street value in the tens of millions of dollars. On numerous occasions, Lambrakis wrote 30 or more prescriptions for 30-milligram oxycodone pills in a single day.

Lambrakis, 70, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to 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 is comprised of 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 and Jessica K. Fender are in charge of the prosecution.


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