Receptionist sentenced for forging opioid prescriptions

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A former receptionist for a Harrisburg, PA, dentist has been sentenced to federal prison for forging opioid prescriptions, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Belinda Dietrich of Marysville will begin serving a one-year prison term on January 6, 2020, followed by three years of probation, for distributing a controlled substance and making false statements in healthcare matters, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

Dietrich forged the signature of her employer on a blank prescription for 24 oxycodone pills for her mother, a Medicare beneficiary, in February 2017, then kept the drugs for her own use, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The cost of the pills was billed to Medicare, which paid the claim.

Between February 2016 and August 2017, Dietrich forged 164 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, totaling more than 5,022 pills, for herself and 11 friends and family members. The other 11 individuals also were prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in the forged prescription scheme.

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