A former receptionist of a Harrisburg dentist will spend a year and a day in federal prison for forging 164 opioid prescriptions, according to the Department of Justice.
Belinda Dietrich, 63, will spend three years on probation following her prison time, according to the DOJ.
Dietrich was sentenced Monday on the counts of distributing a controlled substance and making false statements in health care matters, which she pleaded guilty to in April, the DOJ said.
U.S. Attorney David Freed said Dietrich was the former receptionist of a solo dental provider in Harrisburg. Freed gave an example of how the scheme played out.
Dietrich forged the signature of her employer on a blank prescription form on Feb. 13, 2017, Freed said.
The prescription, written for her mother who was not a patient of the dentist, was for oxycodone, Freed said. Dietrich’s mother was also a Medicare beneficiary.
Dietrich had the prescription for 24 pills filled at a Harrisburg-area pharmacy and kept the drugs for her own use. Medicare paid the claim, Freed said.
Between Feb. 17, 2016 and August 2017, Dietrich forged 164 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, the DOJ said. Dietrich filled out 10 of the fake prescriptions under her own name, and the rest were written under the names of 11 family and friends.
The prescriptions were filled and the drugs were shared between the group. More than 5,022 pills were obtained through these forgeries, the DOJ said, and all 11 people were prosecuted in connection with the case.