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For Immediate Release
December 3, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

TWO BALTIMORE WOMEN CHARGED IN OXYCONTIN
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD SCHEME

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a nursing assistant and her roommate have been charged in a prescription fraud scheme that netted over 12,000 Oxycontin pills.

Valerie Roger and Michele Hoilett, both of the 5200 block of Cedgate Road in Baltimore, have been charged with possession with intent to distribute Oxycontin, and a variety of theft, fraud, and conspiracy charges. It is alleged that from February to December of 2001, the two women fraudulently obtained over 700,000 milligrams of Oxycontin by passing more than 120 false prescriptions for the medication at a Kmart pharmacy. Oxycontin, a time-release painkiller derived from opium, is a brand name of oxycodone and can be addictive. Abusers have found that grinding up the pill and ingesting it leads to a heroin-like high.

The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. While an indictment is only an accusation and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, a charge of possession with intent to distribute Oxycontin is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Felony Medicaid fraud is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $100,000.

Attorney General Curran is co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Prescription Drug Task Force, which has made it a priority to address the marked increase in the abuse of the prescription drug and to coordinate information and share knowledge in addressing the problem.

An arraignment date has not yet been set.

This case is the result of a joint investigation with the Baltimore County Police Department and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the Office of the Attorney General.

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