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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 30, 2020

Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison for Prescription Drug Conspiracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A licensed pharmacist who owned and operated CARE4U Pharmacy in Manassas was sentenced today to two years in prison and ordered to pay $53,100 in forfeiture for illegally distributing prescription drugs, including over 9,000 oxycodone pills, Adderall, and Xanax.

“Our office will continue to diligently prosecute those who abuse public trust and choose to put illegal profits over peoples’ lives, including pharmacists like George Stephen Appiah who decide to moonlight as a drug trafficker,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “In addition to seeking the appropriate prison sentence in these cases, our office will ensure that drug traffickers do not get to keep the ill-gotten gains they have made from poisoning the community.”

According to court documents, Appiah, 48, of Manassas, filled at least 128 fake or fraudulent prescriptions, including 85 prescriptions for oxycodone, brought to the pharmacy by his two co-conspirators (identified in court filings as CC-1 and CC-2). The forged prescriptions were written in the names of CC-1, CC-2, or any one of at least 37 other individuals. Appiah provided CC-1 and CC-2 the names and medical credentials of at least five unwitting doctors for use in forging the prescriptions, and provided templates of the doctors’ prescription pads, so that CC-1 and CC-2 could “Photoshop” the image and make the fake prescriptions look legitimate.

“The successful outcome of this investigation underlines the commitment of the FBI and its partners to combatting the opioid epidemic in our nation,” said James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division. “The public must have confidence in medical professionals who care for others, and the FBI will continue to investigate those who abandon their responsibilities and endanger others by engaging in criminal activity. The misuse of opioids can be deadly, and aggressively pursuing those who illegally distribute prescription drugs makes a positive and lasting impact on our communities.”

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division; and Jarad L. Phelps, Chief of Prince William County Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-111.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated October 30, 2020