Pharmacist pleads guilty in NYC oxycodone scheme

August 3, 2016

In one of the largest opioid diversion schemes to be uncovered in New York, a former pharmacy owner and her husband have pled guilty to several charges related to a multimillion-dollar oxycodone distribution scheme.

In one of the largest opioid diversion schemes to be uncovered in New York, a former pharmacy owner and her husband have pled guilty to several charges related to a multimillion-dollar oxycodone distribution scheme.

Pharmacist Lilian Jakacki, 50, in July pled guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to conspiracy to distribute narcotics, healthcare fraud, and money laundering charges. Jakacki is the owner of European Apothecary Inc. and MW&W Global Enterprises, both doing business as Chopin Chemists. She faces up to 50 years in prison.

Her husband, Marcin Jakacki, 36, pled guilty to similar charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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Last October, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney accused the couple of using two pharmacies in Brooklyn and Queens to illegally distribute more than 500,000 pills of oxycodone over a five-year period. The pills had a street value of between $10 million and $15 million. 

The wife was also charged with a conspiracy to misbrand prescription drugs and a separate offense of defrauding Medicare out of more than $750,000 by claiming reimbursements for medicine she never dispensed.

 

DEA, the IRS and other agencies investigated and found that Chopin Chemists was the single largest purchaser of oxycodone pills in its zip code for three straight years, from 2010 to 2012.  In 2011 and 2012, for example, Chopin exceeded the second highest purchaser’s orders in that zip code by more than 240,000 pills each year, according to the Manhattan U.S. attorney.

In 2013, DEA conducted an audit of Chopin Chemists and found that more than 400,000 pills were dispensed without prescriptions.  The couple also allegedly used Chopin Pharmacies to illegally divert more than 160,000 additional pills by accepting 1,300 fraudulent prescriptions at both locations, including prescriptions made out in the names of famous luxury brands such as “Coach” or “Chanel.”   

Meanwhile, prosecutors alleged that the husband helped arrange the illegal sales of oxycodone pills. In September and October 2015, he allegedly coordinated the illegal sale of hundreds of oxycodone pills to a DEA undercover agent.

“During the same time that nearly two million Americans either abused or were dependent on opioid painkillers, Chopin Pharmacy was making a killing off the profit of illicit oxycodone sales,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt.