Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Opioid Diversion Scheme

The owner of 2 Chopin Chemists pharmacies pleaded guilty to what's been called one of the largest opioid diversion schemes ever discovered in New York City.

The owner of 2 Chopin Chemists pharmacies pleaded guilty to what’s been called one of the largest opioid diversion schemes ever discovered in New York City.

The pharmacies’ owner, Lilian Jakacki, 50, and her husband, Marcin Jakacki, 36, along with 2 corporate entities called European Apothecary and MW&W Global Enterprises Inc—both of which did business as Chopin Chemists—pleaded guilty to charges for conspiracy to distribute opioids months after they were arrested. Lilian Jakacki also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The Jakackis were accused of illegally distributing more than 500,000 oxycodone tablets with a street value of $10 million to $15 million out of 2 Chopin Chemists pharmacies in Brooklyn and Queens between 2010 and 2015, according to the indictment.

A 2013 Drug Enforcement Administration investigation uncovered that the Brooklyn pharmacy alone dispensed 430,000 oxycodone tablets without prescriptions. For 3 straight years, it was the leading purchaser of oxycodone in its zip code, which included 2 national chain stores.

Another 160,000 pills were diverted based on 1300 fraudulent prescriptions, including some under the name of brands like “Chanel” or “Coach.”

In court, Marcin Jakacki admitted to illegally distributing 20,000 tablets. Although Lilian Jakacki didn’t specify an amount, her plea agreement reflected a value equivalent to 100,000 30-mg oxycodone tablets, according to a spokesman for Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.

For the crimes, Lillian Jakacki faces up to 50 years in prison, while her husband faces up to 20 years in prison.

The couple bought a $2 million home in Greenwich, Connecticut, among other things, with the proceeds from their opioid diversion scheme.