www.Justicegov, Press Release, September 8, 2022
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a jury returned a guilty verdict yesterday against PURIFICACION CRISTOBAL for her participation in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose acting outside the usual course of professional practice. CRISTOBAL was also convicted of two counts of oxycodone distribution pertaining to specific prescriptions. She was found not guilty of other counts of oxycodone distribution pertaining to other prescriptions. CRISTOBAL will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who presided over the approximately two-week trial.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Purificacion Cristobal prescribed powerful medications to patients, some of whom had no medical need for them and were likely selling them, thereby contributing to the flow of highly potent drugs into the black markets of New York. We trust medical professionals to responsibly handle potentially harmful drugs, and this Office will not turn a blind eye to those professionals who break that trust.”
As proven at trial, PURIFICACION CRISTOBAL, a licensed nurse practitioner purporting to specialize in psychiatry, operated a clinic on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. Between approximately June 2019 and June 2020, CRISTOBAL prescribed tens of thousands of doses of oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose outside of the usual course of professional practice. Oxycodone is a highly potent and addictive opioid that commands high prices in the black market because of demand by drug abusers. CRISTOBAL often prescribed oxycodone in combination with Xanax (alprazolam) and/or Adderall (amphetamine), controlled substances that are themselves frequently abused and resold illicitly.
CRISTOBAL never performed physical examinations or medical tests, often asked patients to take their pick among different narcotics, and was repeatedly warned by others that her patients were reselling or abusing the drugs she prescribed. She encouraged existing patients to recruit others, regularly accepted cash, and charged different cash “fees” depending on how many prescriptions she wrote for a particular patient. CRISTOBAL also coordinated with a nearby pharmacist, to whom she referred many of her patients, to shield her unlawful prescribing practices from law enforcement scrutiny. Continue Press Release