Dental Receptionist Sentenced to Prison for Forging Opioid Prescriptions

Dentistry Today


On October 28, Senior US District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo sentenced Belinda Dietrich of Marysville, Pennsylvania, to one year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release for forging the signature of a dentist on 164 prescriptions for opioid drugs.

Dietrich pleaded guilty before Rambo in April 2019 to one count of distributing a controlled substance and one count of making false statements in healthcare matters. 

A former receptionist for a solo dental practitioner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Dietrich forged her employer’s signature on a blank prescription form on February 13, 2018, for oxycodone pills for her mother, a Medicare beneficiary, who was not one of her employer’s patients.

Dietrich then had the prescription filled at a Harrisburg area pharmacy and received 24 oxycodone pills. She then converted the drugs to her own use. The pharmacy billed the cost of the oxycodone pills to Medicare, which paid the claim.

Between February 17, 2016, and August 2017, Dietrich also forged 164 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone. She filled out 10 of these prescriptions for herself. The rest were in the names of 11 friends and family who then filled the prescriptions at local pharmacies and shared the controlled substances among themselves.

Altogether, more than 5,022 oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were obtained in this manner. All 11 individuals were prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for their role in the forged prescription scheme. Rambo ordered Dietrich to begin her sentence on January 6, 2020.

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