For the Love of Money and Drugs

Expensive medicine. Medical insurance. Drug addiction. Money and pills. Drugs.

A former registered nurse (RN) from New York state recently pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, healthcare fraud, conspiring to distribute controlled substances, and obstruction of justice. She did it all for the love of money and drugs.

The RN, from Akra, had a co-conspirator in an obstetrician-gynecologist who practiced in Catskill and Hudson. Over two years, the doctor wrote prescriptions for morphine, hydromorphone and oxycodone for patients and the former RN took those scripts to pharmacies in Catskill and Leeds. She impersonated the patients the prescriptions were written for and picked up the drugs. (She knew that the healthcare insurance programs would pay for the drugs.)

Court records show that the doctor issue about 50 oxycodone prescriptions to one of her patients. The patient testified that she had only visited the doctor once for a routine pregnancy checkup and did not receive an oxycodone prescription from her. (This begs the question as to why a doctor would prescribe oxycodone for a pregnant woman in the first place. Taking opioids during pregnancy can cause serious problems for the baby.) Pharmacy photos proved that the patient for whom prescriptions were written for did not pick them up, but the former RN did.

The doctor went to trial first and tried to minimize her own criminal exposure in the hopes that she could retain her medical license. (She was willing to pay the former RN for a false testimony.) The RN made a poor decision by agreeing to falsely testify to a grand jury that she blackmailed the doctor into giving her the prescriptions. (The doctor must have offered a lot of money to cover up the fact that she was a willing participant in the opioid distribution and fraud scheme.)

The 42-year-old patient impersonator pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated identity theft, healthcare fraud, and conspiring to distribute controlled substances and obstruction of justice. She’s facing at least two years behind bars for the aggravated identity theft charges and up to two decades for the remaining felonies. The 50-year-old conspirator previously pleaded guilty to the same felony charges and faces the same sentence. (This case is a prime example of the depravity of those who will do just about anything to feed their love of money and drugs.)

 Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, New York Nurse Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft, Fraud in Opioid Distribution Scheme,” published by Law Firm Newswire on October 28, 2019.

New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) Otober 28, 2019 – A former registered nurse pled guilty to multiple felony counts in New York federal court in a conspiracy to distribute opioids with a doctor.

Sarah Brown, 42, admitted to aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, conspiring to distribute controlled substances and obstruction of justice. All of the charges are felonies. She faces at least two years in prison for aggravated identity theft and up to 20 years for the remaining charges.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.