December 7, By Hannah Wulkan
The NYPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested a doctor last Thursday who allegedly sold over 23,000 medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions out of his offices in Astoria and Jamaica.
Emmanuel Lambrakis, 69, allegedly earned about $2.5 million between January 2011 and December 2016 by selling prescriptions for the highly addictive narcotic opioid over the course of 5 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“Although licensed as a doctor, as alleged, Emmanuel Lambrakis was a prolific and dangerous drug dealer. He allegedly pumped medically unnecessary oxycodone pills into our communities, feeding the addiction of countless people. This arrest is a critical part of our overall fight against the devastating opioid abuse epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
According to the court documents, Lambrakis would charge $150 in cash for a patient appointment, sometimes seeing more than one person at a time. He would superficially examine them and perform perfunctory tests, such as rotating a patient’s arm, and then prescribe a large quantity of oxycodone, usually for 120 30-milligram pills.
On more than 200 occasions, Lambrakis wrote more than 30 prescriptions within a single day, and several times he wrote over 100 in a day.
The phony prescriptions Lambrakis wrote added up to about 2.4 million pills, each with a street value of $20 to $30, placing the street value of all the prescriptions he wrote around $48 million.
Lambrakis mostly sold oxycodone prescriptions out of his Jamaica office at 175-61 Hillside Avenue, where the DEA alleged he wrote over 17,000 oxycodone prescriptions over five years.
He wrote a greater variety of prescriptions out of his Astoria office, located at 32-76 31st Street, where he allegedly wrote about 6,000 oxycodone prescriptions, as well as prescriptions for other drugs.
“Drug dealers selling scripts for money give doctors a bad name. The dismantling of a modern day opium den masquerading as a medical clinic in the heart of Queens shows the result of law enforcement collaboration,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James C. Hunt. “The investigation identified that Emmanuel Lambrakis allegedly diverted oxycodone pills to New York City streets enabling the one thing law enforcement, communities, and health professionals are trying to avoid – opioid addiction and overdose deaths.”
Lambrakis was charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, which can carry a sentence as heavy as 20 years in prison, though his final sentence is up to the judge assigned to the case.