There number of federal laws related to controlled substances is vast. Many stories that hit the news when it comes to a federal drug crime seem to focus on drug trafficking charges, or possession with intent concepts. But, a person may also be accused of fraud when it comes to prescription medications. Often, those accused of prescription medication fraud under federal law may be involved in the medical profession. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others often have access to prescription drugs and forms.
However, a person can be accused of prescription fraud based upon allegations that the person unlawfully sought to obtain a prescription drug. The use of some kind of deceit is generally involved in these situations. Deceit may be based upon allegations that a person forged a signature on a scrip, went to many doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions or used some other form of alleged deceit to obtain medications.
A recent story out of Athens, Georgia, says that four people have been indicted on multiple counts of prescription drug fraud charges. Few details about the alleged offenses have been provided publicly. Authorities claim that the four obtained thousands of pills using “misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge,” according to the Athens Banner-Herald. Law enforcement agencies in Georgia worked with federal agents during the investigation.
Commentators say that prescription medication investigations seem to be on the increase in recent years with the popularity of drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone on the rise in the U.S. Law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels may often work together before charges are formally brought in federal drug crime cases.
When law enforcement opens a probe, a person may become aware of the investigation before charges are formally revealed. Notably, a person suspected of a crime may seek the representation of a defense lawyer – even before charges are brought.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald, “Three Athens residents indicted for federal prescription drug fraud,” Joe Johnson, March 20, 2014