Woman denies prescription fraud
BARRE — A Granite City woman is accused of obtaining prescription drugs by forging a letter to a doctor.
Sara J. Tucker, 34, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to three counts of felony prescription fraud and one count of false pretenses.
If convicted, she faces a maximum of six years and three days in prison and a $16,000 fine.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit, Tucker had been receiving methadone daily from Baart Behavioral Health Services in Berlin since 2011 for opiate addiction.
State police say that in September her prescribing doctor learned she had sent a forged letter from Baart to a doctor at Central Vermont Medical Center saying Baart was no longer giving Tucker methadone and the doctor at CVMC could start prescribing it to her.
The doctor at Baart had also learned that Tucker was being prescribed Valium and Adderall by a nurse practitioner at Family Psychiatry Associates in Barre. The doctor at Baart told state police Tucker had not told her that she was receiving prescription drugs from other providers.
State police say that along with her daily dose of methadone from Baart, Tucker was receiving the drug from another doctor since January 2013 and Valium and Adderall from a nurse practitioner for several months.
State police spoke with Tucker in December and say she admitted writing the forged letter after a friend suggested she should so she could sell the drugs. Tucker told state police her friend told her what to write and Tucker cut and pasted the letter onto Baart letterhead with the signature of a Baart councilor on it.
Tucker told state police she would give the drugs to her friend in exchange for $300 to $400 per month. In September, Tucker told state police she and the friend had a falling out and she suspected the friend made an anonymous call to Tucker’s doctor at CVMC telling him about the fraudulent letter.
State police say that after the forgery was discovered, the doctor at CVMC and the nurse practitioner stopped prescribing drugs to Tucker. Police say she is still receiving methadone from Baart but it has been its policy that she take the drug in the presence of staff and not be allowed to leave with it.
Tucker has convictions of unlawful trespass and retail theft in 2013, two counts of false pretenses in 2012, petit larceny in 2011 and two counts of disorderly conduct in 2010.
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