FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 17, 2013
FORMER BECKLEY PHYSICIAN’S OFFICE EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO THEFT OF PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS
Defendant Tina Richmond stole a doctor’s script pad that was used to illegally obtain oxycodone tablets
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A former Beckley-area physician’s office employee pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally obtaining the powerful prescription painkiller oxycodone. Tina Marie Richmond, 41, of Beckley, W.Va., committed a federal felony by aiding and abetting the acquiring and obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge. Richmond pleaded guilty today in front of United States District Court Judge Irene C. Berger in Beckley.
"Prescription drug abuse damages continues to take a toll on communities all over southern West Virginia," said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. "I'm committed to doing everything possible to get this problem under control."
Prior to August 2, 2013, during her employment at a Beckley doctor’s office, Richmond stole a prescription pad belonging to her former employer, a Beckley doctor. The prescription pad contained the Drug Enforcement Administration registration number assigned to the doctor. Richmond told police that on August 2, 2013, she took the script pad without authorization, forged the doctor’s signature on the script pad and then gave it to a known acquaintance in exchange for money.
An investigation determined that the forged script, written for 90 30-milligram oxycodone pills, was filled at a Beckley pharmacy.
Richmond faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine when she is sentenced on April 17, 2014.
The Beckley Police Department is in charge of the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District.