YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers pharmacy manager has been charged with illegally distributing large amounts of oxycodone while raking in thousands of dollars from the sales.
Ji Yun Lee was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan on charges of distributing the addictive pain killer and conspiring to distribute.
Working with a pair of confidential informants, prosecutors say they found that Lee was allegedly selling large amounts of oxycodone for more than a year by filling fake prescriptions for several individuals.
“As alleged, Ji Yun Lee took advantage of his position to allegedly accept and fill fraudulent prescriptions in exchange for money, just like a street dealer who puts lives at risk throughout our community,” Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Crowell said in a statement.
Prosecutors say from sometime in 2011 until January 2013, Lee was the store manager at an unnamed pharmacy in Yonkers, despite not being a licensed pharmacist or physician in New York.
Together, the informants presented multiple fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions to Lee from September 2012 to January 2013, which were filled and paid for in cash at a rate of $1,075 for 180 30-milligram pills, prosecutors said. One informant told investigators that Lee filled illegal oxycodone prescriptions for him each month beginning in early 2011.
A review of the pharmacy bank records revealed monthly cash deposits between January and September 2012 of over $100,000, according to prosecutors.
Records from the Drug Enforcement Agency and New York State’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement also revealed the number of oxycodone dosage units purchased by the pharmacy in 2012 was more than double the number of units purchased by any other pharmacy in the same zip code, prosecutors said.
In addition, the number of dosage units of oxycodone purchased by the pharmacy more than doubled from 2010-2011 and then again more than doubled a year later, they said.
“As alleged, Ji Yun Lee exploited his access to highly addictive pain medication and functioned as a ‘go-to’ prescription pill dispenser for those who were willing to pay his inflated prices,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Bharara added, “We are bound and determined to thwart those who facilitate the spread of this epidemic and to ensure that they are prosecuted for their crimes.”
If convicted of the charges, Lee faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.