News and Press Releases

Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison for Filling Fake Prescriptions in Exchange for Cash to Support Gambling Addiction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2013

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh-area pharmacist pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotic laws and was also sentenced pursuant to that plea of guilty, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Charles Brian Griffin, 27, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from March 2011 until February 2012, Griffin conspired together with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.

Specifically, the Court was advised that during this time period, Griffin worked as a pharmacist at Walgreens, primarily in its Washington, Pa., store. As a pharmacist, Griffin had access to controlled substances, namely oxycodone. Griffin, working together with a co-conspirator, knowingly filled large fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions provided to him by this co-conspirator. In exchange for doing this, the co-conspirator provided Griffin with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, which Griffin used to support his gambling addiction. In total, Griffin, working together with his co-conspirator, fraudulently diverted more than 8,000 30mg oxycodone pills over the course of this conspiracy.

After entering his plea of guilty, Judge Diamond sentenced Griffin to a term of imprisonment of 40 months, to be followed by three years of supervised release. The Court did not impose a fine on Griffin. The law provided for a total sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of no more than $1,000,000, or both.

Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Charles Brian Griffin.

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