News and Press Releases

Former Pharmacist Sentenced To 25 Months In Prison For Using Patient And Doctor Names To Create Fraudulent Prescriptions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2013

BOWLING GREEN, Ky – A former pharmacist from Richmond, Kentucky was sentenced in United States District Court today, by Senior Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., to 25 months in prison followed by one month of supervised release for aggravated identity theft, fraudulently acquiring controlled substances, and wire fraud, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. Elizabeth A. Smith, age 30, had previously pleaded guilty in United States District Court to a federal Information on November 19, 2012.

Between April 2011 and January 2012, Smith, a former Walgreens pharmacist, used patient names and doctor names and DEA numbers to create fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances such as hydrocodone (a Schedule III controlled substance). Smith filled the prescriptions without the patients’ or doctors’ knowledge, and kept the pills for personal use. Smith defrauded Walgreens on each prescription by greatly reducing the amount due for the prescriptions in the Walgreens computer system. Smith then paid the small remaining balance herself.

For example, on December 12, 2011, while working at a Walgreens in Glasgow, Kentucky, Smith used patient K.R.'s name, and doctor G.S.'s name and DEA number, without K.R.'s or G.S.'s knowledge or authority to order a fraudulent prescription for 120 hydrocodone pills. Smith entered the prescription in the Walgreens computer system and reduced the amount due for the prescription from $137.94 to $20. Smith paid the $20 with her own personal credit card.

On January 5, 2012, while working at a Walgreens in Madisonville, Kentucky, Smith used patient T.R.'s name, and doctor S.S.'s name and DEA number, without T.R.'s or S.S.'s knowledge or authority to order a fraudulent prescription for 180 hydrocodone pills. Smith entered the prescription in the Walgreens computer system and reduced the amount due for the prescription from $131.37 to $5. Smith paid the $5 with her own personal credit card.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and was investigated by the Kentucky State Police.

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