Shapiro raid uncovered $1 M cash

LIHU‘E — In a 2007 interview, hall of fame wakeboarding pro Darrin Shapiro said he pictured himself living in Hawai‘i in five years. What he probably didn’t picture was leaving Hawai‘i in handcuffs.

Last week, Kaua‘i police arrested Shapiro, 38, of Princeville, his brother, Jarrett Shapiro, 42, of Kalaheo and their father, Lewis Ray Shapiro, 65, of Princeville, on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering.

The Shapiros’ arrests follow a massive 14-month investigation by Florida’s Statewide Drug Enforcement Strike Force into the family’s three opiod-prescribing pain clinics in Florida. The state attorney general of Florida will be trying the Shapiro’s case, Florida Department of Law Enforcement public information officer Susie Murphy said Thursday, and the men may be facing up to 25 years in prison.

The racketeering charges stem from the discovery of $985,000 in cash in Lewis Shapiro’s Florida home in April 2010, Murphy said. Investigators believe those funds are tied to the Shapiros’ Florida pain clinics, described by investigators as the worst in the state.

Fifty thousand oxycodone pain pills — just one-tenth of what Darrin Shapiro’s Pain Relief Orlando clinic prescribed in the last quarter of 2010  — have a potential street value of $1.5 million. Although the clinic dispensed more oxycodone that quarter than the state of California, Murphy said it had records for fewer than 50 patients.

The Shapiros had already relocated to Kaua‘i at the time of the Florida raids last June, leaving behind Dr. Riyaz Jummani, the doctor who ran the clinics, as the owner of record. Murphy said there is no evidence that the business transaction ever took place between the Shapiros and Jummani. 

In July 2010, Florida enacted a law that limits the ownership of pain-management clinics to doctors. Darrin Shapiro, who is not a physician, previously told TGI he was the owner of Pain Relief Orlando and Casselberry Relief Center after the law took effect.

An FDLE agent told TGI last October that because of the new law, business owners sometimes transfer the clinic — in name only — to a doctor, but they’re still involved.

Police in Orange County, Fla., arrested Jummani last week, also on charges of money laundering.

Within days of the raids in Florida, Darrin Shapiro opened Kaua‘i’s only opioid-prescribing and marijuana card-issuing pain management clinic, Kaua‘i Chronic Pain Center, run by Dr. Sian Evans. The clinic has since closed down.

Staff at Kaua‘i Medical Clinic on Friday said former Kaua‘i Chronic patients started flooding their offices seeking prescription pain medication after Darrin Shapiro’s Kapa‘a clinic closed down last month.

Some of their patients were going through severe withdrawal, said a staff member, adding that many of them didn’t realize that the doctor only prescribes non-opioid Suboxone for long-term pain management rather than opiod-based drugs like oxycodone.

All three men remain in police custody in lieu of $750,000 bail each, pending extradition to Florida. Should the Shapiros wish to post bail, they will have to show the funds come from legal sources, Murphy said.

Kaua‘i County spokeswoman Beth Tokioka on Friday clarified that Kaua‘i vice officers were “involved only to locate the suspects and make the arrests.” They were not a involved in the FDLE investigation.

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