Janaury 8, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
CHARGES BALTIMORE WOMAN WITH
OPERATING PRESCRIPTION FRAUD SCHEME
Suspect Allegedly Used Minors to Falsely Obtain Oxycontin, Other
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Baltimore
resident has been charged in a prescription fraud scheme that lasted
over two years and involved illegal possession of Oxycontin pills
and a variety of other medications, which were all paid for by Medicaid.
Hunter, 37, of the 800 block of Vine Street in Baltimore, has been
charged in a 41-count indictment with possession with intent to
distribute Oxycontin and two other controlled dangerous substances.
In addition, Hunter has been charged with theft, fraud, and conspiracy.
It is alleged that over a two year period beginning December 2000,
Hunter uttered prescriptions using the names and Medicaid numbers
of dozens of actual Medicaid recipients, when in fact all of the
prescriptions were fraudulent. Hunter is charged with passing the
forged prescriptions, obtaining and possessing the drugs and possessing
the drugs with the intent to distribute them. The indictment alleges
that Hunter obtained multiple Oxycontin prescriptions at one time,
in one instance as many as four false prescriptions for Oxycontin
in a single day. In addition, because she is alleged to have used
Medicaid names and numbers to falsely obtain the drugs, the indictment
also charges her with stealing from the Medicaid program. The indictment
further charges that Hunter used a minor to obtain drugs for her
as part of the overall drug conspiracy.
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.
case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the
Maryland Attorney Generals Office in conjunction with the
United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of
the Inspector General and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 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. The use of a minor to
distribute controlled dangerous substances is a felony punishable
by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Felony Medicaid fraud is punishable by a maximum sentence of five
years and a fine of $100,000.
arraignment date has been set.