9 caught in drug sweep; 4 charged with insurance fraud

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Three Allegheny County men were charged this week with insurance fraud and related crimes after investigators found they passed bogus prescriptions to get pills and used one of the men‘‍s insurance to pay for them.

The charges were part of a sweep by agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General‘‍s Office that also included arrests of six other Western Pennsylvania residents and one from West Virginia.

Starting in September 2012, Timothy Campbell, 33, Ryan Blumling, 34, and Lucas McCormick, 32, started passing fraudulent prescriptions, using Mr. Campbell's insurance to pay for more than 1,260 oxycodone pills during the investigation, the AG's office said in a press release.

In April 2013, Mr. McCormick and Mr. Blumling passed fake prescriptions in Mr. Campbell's name, this time without his consent, the AG's office said. Mr. Blumling also is accused of using the names of seven doctors at 10 pharmacies to obtain 2,460 oxycodone and 180 Xanax pills.

Mr. Campbell of Avonworth, Mr. Blumling of Moon and Mr. McCormick of Coraopolis are charged with insurance fraud, possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge and forgery. Mr. Blumling also is charged with conspiracy. They face July 8 preliminary hearings.

The joint probe between the attorney general‘‍s office Insurance Fraud Section and Bureau of Narcotics Investigation also led to a fourth arrest: Melissa Bock, 26, a former employee at Greater Pittsburgh Orthopedic Associates, charged with similar offenses.

Ms. Bock of Natrona Heights is accused of writing or calling in more than 40 illegal prescriptions for Vicodin at pharmacies in three counties after taking a physician's Drug Enforcement Administration number and posing as other employees.

Also charged are the following:

• Brenhan Skrak, 35, of Prospect, with several crimes including arson and insurance fraud. The AG's office said that Mr. Skrak started a fire in his grandmother's home and collected the insurance money.

• Matthew Masciarelli, 24, of Connellsville, Fayette County, with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft.

• Anthony Griffith, 55, and Shante Reed, 33, of New Castle, and Preston Miller, 40, of Breezewood, Bedford County, with one count of insurance fraud and one count of attempted theft.

Ms. Reed also is charged with a count of identify theft and Mr. Miller also is charged with conspiracy to commit theft.

Similarly charged in the fraud sweep is Thomas Huth, 29, of Hedgeville, W.Va.

First Published June 27, 2014 12:00 AM


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