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Trio detained in alleged prescription-pill scam in Pennsylvania

According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, authorities detained three men on suspicion of insurance fraud and other offenses related to a scheme involving fake prescriptions for pain pills. The men were reportedly detained in a sweep that resulted in charges filed against six additional Pennsylvania residents and one citizen of West Virginia.

Authorities allege that the three men, ages 32, 33 and 34, began to pass bogus prescriptions for oxycodone pills in September 2012, using the 33-year-old man's insurance to pay for the pills. In April 2013, two of the men allegedly used fraudulent prescriptions in the name of the 33-year-old man without his permission. Authorities claim the 34-year-old man employed seven doctors' names at various pharmacies to acquire 180 Xanax pills and 2,460 oxycodone pills.

All three men now face charges of forgery, insurance fraud and possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. The 34-year-old man also faces a conspiracy charge.

If convicted, the three men in this case may face serious consequences. The conspiracy charge poses a particular threat. Though rarely filed by itself, a conspiracy charge may result in a conviction even when the other charges do not.

Thus, it is critical for people accused of fraud crimes and charged with conspiracy to retain the counsel and resources of a criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors often rely on specious evidence to substantiate a conspiracy charge, and the defense attorney may systematically attack the relationship links among the alleged members of the conspiracy in the prosecution's case. By and large, these charges involve recondite matters of law and arcane language, and the criminal defense attorney may establish a defense against the charges within this context that results in reduced charges or even an outright dismissal of the case.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "9 caught in drug sweep; 4 charged with insurance fraud", June 28, 2014

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