HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that the former assistant to a York physician and her husband were charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to obtain and distribute up to 20,000 units of oxycodone through fraud and forgery.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Amy Schneider, age 29, and Joseph Schneider, age 29, both of York, were charged in a Criminal Information with conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone. Amy Schneider is also charged with illegally using a Drug Enforcement registration to obtain a controlled substance. Joseph Schneider is charged with acquiring a prescription by fraud or forgery.
The government also filed a plea agreement in the case which recommends that Amy and Joseph Schneider should be held responsible for between 10,000 and 20,000 units (tablets) of oxycodone. The plea agreement is subject to the approval of the Court.
Amy Schneider was the office manager for a physician practicing in York. She was permitted to use pre-signed prescription forms each week. The forms, intended to be used to write prescriptions for refills for patients, were fraudulently used to obtain oxycodone tablets for the Schneiders.
Beginning in approximately January 2014 and continuing until May 2015, Amy Schneider allegedly wrote prescriptions for Joseph Schneider who allegedly took the forms to pharmacies to be filled. The oxycodone tablets were then divided between Amy and Joseph Schneider. Some of the tablets were distributed to others.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and DEA are continuing to investigate the handling of prescriptions by Defendant Amy Schneider’s employer.
Criminal conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance both carry a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and a life term of supervised release. The offense of unlawful use of a DEA number is punishable by up to four years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Acquiring a controlled substance by fraud or forgery is punishable by a maximum sentence of four years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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