Shutting Down a Fraudulent Prescription Ring

June 22, 2017 | Topic: Opioids

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Announces Felony Charges against Four Persons who Fraudulently Obtained nearly 3,000 Oxycodone Tablets

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced charges against four Central Pennsylvania conspirators who illegally wrote and filled prescriptions for nearly 3,000 Oxycodone pills.

Girley Levon Livingston, 35 of 3rd Street in Lancaster, and Arielle Rue, 27 of N. Front Street in Harrisburg, conspired to unlawfully acquire Oxycodone by using a prescription pad fraudulently obtained from a psychiatrist in Harrisburg, where Rue worked as an office assistant.

Prosecutors with the Office of Attorney General brought this case before a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, which heard testimony from witnesses and recommended the charges filed.

“We are committed to prosecuting drug dealers, whether they are on street corners or staffing doctors’ offices,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “You can’t get away with forging and illegally filling prescriptions for thousands of pills without facing justice. As Attorney General, I’ll continue to pursue anyone who illegally obtains prescription drugs.”

Attorney General Shapiro noted studies showing that 75 percent of heroin users began their drug abuse by abusing prescription opioids. Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication.

Working as an office assistant for the psychiatrist, Rue fraudulently wrote numerous prescriptions for Oxycodone. These prescriptions were filled by other persons including Livingston, who solicited others to join the conspiracy, including Tyana Kane, 20 of N. 4th Street in New Cumberland, and Samantha Negron, 33 of Manor Street in York.

Livingston, Rue, Kane and Negron are charged with a felony: acquisition or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, along with other related charges.

The investigation began in 2016 when a nurse practitioner reported a patient being prescribed Oxycodone from the psychiatrist under what appeared to be suspicious circumstances. This led detectives to access the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database, where they learned that 44 “patients” of the psychiatrist had filled Oxycodone prescriptions over a two-year period.

Detectives visited the pharmacies where the prescriptions were filled and obtained video footage showing the Oxycodone prescriptions were fraudulently filled by persons who were not patients of the psychiatrist.

In some of the cases, Rue tampered with medical records to make it appear as though these persons were patients. She also verified false prescriptions with local pharmacies on at least four occasions.

“Thanks to strong law enforcement cooperation, this fraudulent prescription ring was identified and shut down,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I want to thank the Cumberland County Drug Task Force and Susquehanna Township Police for all their collaboration with our agents and prosecutors. It makes a difference in their communities.”

Livingstone, Rue and Kane have been taken into custody, and bail was set at $100,000 for each defendant. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 28. Negron remains at large. The defendants will be prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General.

# # #