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For Immediate Release
February 13, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

BALTIMORE WOMAN CHARGED IN OXYCONTIN
PRESCRIPTION FRAUD SCHEME

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Danielle Williams, 18, of the 1500 block of Ellamont Street, Baltimore, was charged in an 82-count indictment with possession with intent to distribute Oxycontin and two other controlled dangerous substances. Williams was also charged with theft, fraud, and conspiracy.

It is alleged that from June 2002 to December 2002, Williams uttered prescriptions using the names and Medicaid numbers of actual Medicaid recipients, when in fact all of the prescriptions were fraudulent. Williams 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 Williams obtained multiple Oxycontin prescriptions with the intent to distribute the drugs and with stealing from the Medicaid program. For the six month period, Williams is charged with obtaining 26 fraudulent prescriptions using just one Medicaid recipient’s name.

Williams is also charged in several counts with conspiring with Thelma Hunter. Hunter, 38, also a Baltimore resident, has been indicted in a 41-count indictment that alleges conspiracy, prescription fraud and drug distribution charges. Hunter’s indictment alleges that she and Williams worked together to obtain multiple Oxycontin prescriptions, often several on the same day.

"Oxycontin is a great drug for those who need it, but it poses a serious threat to abusers, " Attorney General Curran said. "We will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to keep it out of the hands of the wrong people."

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 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. Felony Medicaid fraud is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $100,000. Attorney General Curran co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Prescription Drug Task Force.

 

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