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Post date: August 11 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Capital Region Nurse Charged With Illegally Obtaining More Than 2,000 Narcotics Using Forged Prescriptions

Masse Allegedly Stole Thousands of Pain Killers Over A One Year Period

ALBANY- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Linda Masse, 44, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) from Rotterdam, on charges that she illegally obtained narcotics by presenting prescriptions with the forged signature of her employer, a Medicaid provider, to pharmacies.
 
“Many New Yorkers count on Medicaid for an array of critical health care needs, and my office takes allegations of fraud against the Medicaid system seriously,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The alleged forging of prescriptions to illegally obtain narcotics in this case not only represents a misuse of Medicaid dollars, but also fuels the vicious cycle of addiction.”
 
The felony complaint alleges that from on or about March 2014 through April 2015, Linda Masse was employed at Women’s Health Care Associates in Latham for a physician specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. During this time, defendant Masse allegedly presented eighteen prescriptions from her employer’s practice to Walmart and CVS pharmacies that were issued in her name and with the forged signature of the physician. The prescriptions were for quantities of Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, Schedule II controlled substances, ranging from 40 -180 pills for each prescription. The controlled substances were dispensed by the pharmacies for Linda Masse and, as a result, Medicaid Managed Care paid for the prescriptions on Masse’s behalf. In total, Masse allegedly received over 2,000 pills of Hydrocodone and Oxycodone in approximately a one year period.
 
According to the felony complaint, the physician stated that she did not issue the prescriptions to Masse. The physician identified all prescriptions as being from her practice, but completed and signed by someone other than herself, and without her knowledge. The physician knew Linda Masse as an LPN at the physician’s practice and indicated that Masse had access to prescription pads in her employment capacity.
 
Masse was arraigned in Rotterdam Town Court before the Honorable Kenneth Litz and charged with eighteen counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree, Class D Felonies. Masse faces up to 7 years in state prison.

The charges against the defendant are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by Investigator Michael Connelly, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dianne Tuffey and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk, and Special Auditor-Investigator Megan Mastrianni with the assistance of Assistant Chief Auditor-Investigator Charles R. Norfleet.
 
The case is being prosecuted by the Special Assistant Attorney General Erin Lynch of the Albany Regional Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, with the assistance of Albany Regional Director Kathleen A. Boland. Catherine Wagner is MFCU's Upstate Chief of Criminal Investigations. Amy Held is the Acting Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.