Nov. 29, 2019 By Kristen Torres
A doctor who pocketed millions by prescribing oxycodone to healthy patients through his two Queens medical clinics pleaded guilty to a federal drug-related crime Tuesday.
Dr. Emmanuel Lambrakis, 72, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully distributing medically unnecessary oxycodone, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan.
His guilty plea came less than a week before his criminal trial was set to begin. It also comes more than 18 months after he pleaded guilty back in March 2018 to the charge before withdrawing his plea, according to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Lambrakis, according to court documents, operated two medical clinics in Queens—one at 32-76 31st St. in Astoria and the other on 175-61 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica– where he would see multiple patients at the same time in the same examination room. Each “patient” would pay him up to $250 in cash.
Lambrakis would perform simple tests – such as merely rotating the patient’s arm or leg — before prescribing them oxycodone, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He would frequently write upwards of 100 prescriptions for 30-milligram oxycodone pills in a single day. He made more than $2 million in cash from his “patients” from January 2011 to December 2016.
One 30-milligram tablet of oxycodone, according to officials, has a street value of $20 to $40 in New York City. A single prescription of 30 tablets can net an illicit distributor upwards of $2,400 in cash, according to Berman.
Officials said Lambrakis wrote thousands of oxycodone prescriptions during the five-year span. As a result, more than two million oxycodone tablets were distributed, carrying a street value in the tens of millions of dollars.
Lambrakis now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He’ll be sentenced on Feb. 7, 2020.