Man Arrested in Connection with Scheme to Use Fraudulent Prescriptions to Illegally Obtain Pills
Charged with Prescription Fraud and Identity Theft
BOSTON – A man involved in an alleged scheme to use fraudulent prescriptions to illegally obtain Oxycodone tablets has been arrested and arraigned on charges of prescription fraud and identity theft, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Naman Spencer, age 37, formerly of Haverhill, was arrested on Thursday in Lynn by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and the Lynn Police Department.
“We allege that this defendant obtained fraudulent prescriptions and was able to illegally acquire Oxycodone tablets on 16 separate occasions in one month,” Attorney General Maura Healey said. “Opiate and prescription drug abuse is a public health crisis here in Massachusetts and across the nation. Our office is dedicated to addressing the drug marketing, prescribing, and dispensing practices that are enabling this tragic epidemic.”
“Prescription drug abuse destroys communities and families. Prescription drug abuse and trafficking is a major issue in Massachusetts and throughout New England,” stated Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “We value the work and commitment of our law enforcement partners in combatting the prescription pill issue. We will continue to partner with our state and local partners to combat this scourge.”
Spencer was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of Uttering a False Prescription (12), Identity Fraud (3 counts), and Unlawful Possession of a Class B Drug (12 counts). He pleaded not guilty to the charges and bail was set at $10,000. He is due back in Suffolk Superior Court on Feb. 24 for a pre-trial conference.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury indicted Spencer on the charges on Monday and an arrest warrant was subsequently issued.
Authorities allege that in a 30-day period between Oct. 24 and Nov. 25, 2014, Spencer fraudulently obtained and filled 16 separate prescriptions for Oxycodone tablets. The alleged fraudulent prescriptions were created using the names of three doctors. Investigators discovered these alleged crimes when they ran Spencer’s history in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The PMP is a secure website that supports safe prescribing and dispensing and allows prescribers and pharmacists to view a patient’s recent prescription history.
In this time period, authorities allege Spencer diverted 1,500 Oxycodone tablets, with a value of approximately $15,000, from the medical community to the street.
The AG’s Office discovered Spencer’s alleged illegal activities through their 2013 investigation into Vincent Leo. On Nov 3. 2014, the AG’s Office indicted Leo on more than 100 counts of prescription and credit card fraud and identity theft. Leo allegedly created hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions in order to obtain oxycodone tablets. Authorities allege that Leo is responsible for unlawfully obtaining and distributing more than 10,000 Oxycodone tablets. Leo is due back in Essex Superior Court on Feb. 10 for a lobby conference.
These charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This month, Attorney General Maura Healey announced the formation of an internal AG’s task force to more aggressively combat the heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in Massachusetts. She has vowed to use a multi-faceted approach to improve the prescription monitoring program, educate prescribers, pursue illegal drug traffickers and pill mills, and expand access to recovery and treatment programs.
Importantly, AG Healey plans to expand the reach of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), with a focus on establishing real-time reporting of prescriptions, making it easier to use for pharmacists and prescribers, and streamlining data-sharing. AG Healey also plans to expand Massachusetts’ pharmacy lock-in programs so that individuals who are suspected of doctor-shopping for prescription drugs or abusing their prescriptions can be “locked in” to use a single pharmacy to better control and monitor misuse.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Cara Krysil, Chief of the AG Healey’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, with assistance from State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.