June 9, 2006
Attorney General Corbett announces arrest of Luzerne County pharmacist on prescription forgery and Medicaid Fraud charges
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Section and Bureau of Narcotics Investigation (BNI) have arrested a Luzerne County pharmacist accused of scheming to illegally obtain large quantities of OxyContin and other powerful and potentially addictive prescription drugs for his own use.
Corbett identified the defendant as John M. Moran, 36, of 28 High St., Carbondale, Lackawana County. At the time of the alleged crimes, Moran was the pharmacist and acting manager of Cross Valley Pharmacy, 190 South River St., Plains, Luzerne County.
Corbett said the charges state that Moran allegedly photocopied legitimate prescriptions for the powerful prescription painkiller OxyContin, along with other drugs, and altered the birth date and Medicaid account information to make it appear that the prescription was for a different person. Moran then allegedly filled the bogus prescriptions, kept the drugs, and submitted the prescription claims to Medicaid for payment.
According to the criminal complaint, between August 2004 and March 2005 Moran allegedly produced and filled at least 28 fraudulent prescriptions for OxyContin, totaling 1800 tablets. Moran is also accused of generating bogus prescriptions for Histinex, a prescription cold medicine; Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug and Zithromax, an antibiotic.
Corbett said that Moran allegedly used the legitimate prescriptions of a pharmacy customer to serve as the basis for his falsified prescriptions.
According to the criminal complaint, the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Program was falsely billed $9,833 to fill the fraudulent prescriptions allegedly produced by Moran.
Moran is charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery or deception, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Additionally, Moran is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a third degree felony which carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Moran was preliminarily arraigned today before Plains Magisterial District Judge Diane Malast and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 19, 2006 in Luzerne County Central Court, Willkes-Barre.
The case will be prosecuted in Luzerne County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather M. Albright of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Section.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty)
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EDITOR'S NOTE: For a photo of the defendant and a copy of the criminal complaint contact the Attorney General's Press Office at 717-787-5211. To learn more about the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Section go to www.attorneygeneral.gov.