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Post date: September 10 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of Capital Region Nurse For Illegally Obtaining More Than 2,000 Narcotics Using Forged Prescriptions

Masse Admitted to Using Forged Prescriptions to Obtain Thousands of Pain Killers Over A One Year Period

Schneiderman: My Office Will Keep Working to Hold Dishonest Medical Professionals Accountable

SCHENECTADY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Linda Masse, a Licensed Practical Nurse, to a felony, for illegally obtaining narcotics by presenting prescriptions to pharmacies with the forged signature of her employer, a Medicaid provider.  Masse admitted to being in possession of forged prescriptions which she used to get Hydrocodone and Oxycodone that were paid for by Medicaid.

“Forgery and Medicaid fraud are blatant abuse of the trust and privileges afforded to medical professionals,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will keep working tirelessly to ensure that unscrupulous medical professionals are held accountable.”

My office will continue to hold medical professionals accountable for the crimes committed by the abuse of their privileges,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.  “Above all, we will not allow Medicaid to pay for drugs that were illegally obtained.”  

This plea stems from charges lodged last month by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Attorney General’s Office accusing Masse of using eighteen forged prescriptions from her employer’s practice from on or about March 2014 through April 2015 to get narcotics from pharmacies at Walmart and CVS in Rotterdam.  During this time, Masse was employed at Women’s Health Care Associates in Latham for a physician specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 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. Masse obtained over 2,000 pills of Hydrocodone and Oxycodone in approximately a one year period.  

The investigation revealed that Masse’s former employer did not issue the prescriptions to Masse. 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 pleaded guilty before the Honorable Vincent J. Riley, Jr., Schenectady County Court, to one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree, a Class D Felony, with a sentence of felony drug court.  Masse also agreed to surrender her License Practical Nurse’s license. The investigation was led by Investigator Michael Connelly, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dianne Tuffey and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk.  

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.  The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.