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Prescription fraud charges may lead to a guilty plea

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Criminal Law

Virginia’s statutes regarding controlled substances make it unlawful to obtain or provide prescription medications through fraud. According to Virginia’s Legislative Information System’s website, altering documents to obtain a controlled substance may result in a Class 6 felony charge.

Forgery, for example, includes changing an order for a prescription drug such as by increasing its dosage count or strength. A patient receiving treatment for pain may also face fraud allegations by affixing a false label onto his or her prescribed medication container.

Licensed professionals may face charges

Virginia’s laws do not reduce charges or allow lessened penalties for licensed medical personnel. Health care professionals suspected of falsifying a patient’s medical need for a controlled substance, for example, may face allegations of felony fraud. Listing a false name or address so that a patient may obtain medication from a pharmacy may also classify as an unlawful action.

Hospital technician enters plea over fraud allegations

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia accepted a guilty plea from a formerly licensed pharmacy technician. According to the Department of Justice, the Virginia resident faced charges of fraudulently acquiring dosage units of controlled prescription medications.

The pharmacy technician had the authorization to access opioid prescriptions while working at a hospital. His duties included verifying that the facility’s prescription distribution system maintained the correct dosage amounts. He allegedly falsified reports detailing the amount of medication filled for the hospital’s patients. Investigators claimed this enabled him to divert controlled substances from patients for his own personal gain.

When facing serious felony charges involving controlled substances, defendants may request that the prosecution team accept a plea bargain. The results may lead to a more favorable outcome such as a reduction of charges or penalties.