HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that a former employee of the Washington County-based Washington Health System and three others have been charged with forging prescriptions between 2016 and 2019.
Shapiro’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office allege that Marisa Magnelli, Kenneth Bitkowski, Erika Stover, and Edward Bulko have been charged with varying number of counts of forgery, identity theft, criminal conspiracy and prohibited acts. According to criminal complaints, Magnelli, while employed as a medical assistant, forged prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances, specifically Hydrocodone.
Magnelli used the names and forged the signatures of five physicians and physician’s assistants of Washington Health System and then provided those prescription to Bitkowski (Magnelli’s now-husband), Stover (Magnelli’s daughter), and Bulko (Magnelli’s ex-boyfriend) to acquire the Hydrocodone. Magnelli was terminated from her position in June.
“My office is committed to stopping the illegal diversion of prescription drugs that is fueling the opioid epidemic across Pennsylvania,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Since taking office, our diversion arrests have increased by more than 60 percent. We are focused on combating this crisis by confronting it with a multidisciplinary approach—and cracking down on misuse of prescription medications is a major part of our efforts.”
Each defendant has surrendered and been arraigned, and each of them have been placed on $10,000 unsecured bond with preliminary hearings scheduled for Nov. 6. This case is being prosecuted by the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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