HARRISBURG—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Belinda Dietrich, age 63, of Marysville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on October 28, 2019, by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo to one year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for forging the signature of a dentist on 164 prescriptions for opioid drugs.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Dietrich pleaded guilty before Judge Rambo in April 2019, to one count of distributing a controlled substance and one count of making false statements in health care matters. Dietrich, a former receptionist for a solo dental practitioner in Harrisburg, forged the signature of her employer on a blank prescription form on February 13, 2017, for oxycodone pills for her mother, a Medicare beneficiary, who was not a patient of the dentist. Dietrich then had the prescription filled at a Harrisburg area pharmacy and received 24 oxycodone pills, who then converted the drugs to her own use. The pharmacy billed the cost of the oxycodone pills to Medicare, which paid the claim.
Dietrich’s forgeries were not limited to just one prescription. Between February 17, 2016 and August 2017, Dietrich forged 164 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone. Dietrich filled out 10 of the bogus prescriptions for herself; the rest were made out to the names of 11 friends and family, who then filled the prescriptions at local pharmacies and shared the controlled substances among themselves. All together, more than 5,022 oxycodone and hydrocodone pill were obtained in this manner. All 11 individuals were prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for their role in the forged prescription scheme.
Judge Rambo ordered Dietrich to begin service of her sentence on January 6, 2020
The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Division, and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel prosecuted the case.
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