A.G. Schneiderman Announces Plea Of Ringleader In Rochester Oxycontin Ring
Prosecution Charged Five With Organized Effort To Steal Oxycontin Pills Through Fraudulent Prescriptions
Schneiderman: Profiting From Dangerous Addictions Is Unconscionable And Will Be Met With Criminal Charges
ROCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Shantel Williams, the ringleader of a scheme to illegally obtain and fill Oxycontin prescriptions for profit, has pleaded guilty. Charged as part of a joint prosecution with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Williams had access to her employer's prescription pad and used it to write approximately 25 fraudulent prescriptions for her co-defendants for 80-mg doses of Oxycontin. Three of the five defendants previously pleaded guilty.
"My office will not tolerate any fraud that feeds the cycle of drug abuse in our state,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Whether you are a medical professional, a Medicaid recipient, or a dealer on the street, it’s a serious crime to traffic in prescription drugs, and I intend to bring criminal charges against anyone who profits off these dangerous addictions.”
The felony complaint filed in the City of Rochester Criminal Court charged that Williams, 36, of Rochester, along with Stacy Clark, 28, of Rochester; Jessica Connolly, 35, of Rochester; and sisters Anestacia Wilson, 32, of Rochester, and Bettina Wilson, 33, of Rochester, acted in concert from, on, or about January 1, 2008, until December 31, 2010, in this prescription drug fraud. In exchange for cash payments, the co-defendants went to several pharmacies in the City of Rochester and other locations in Monroe County to fill the prescriptions provided to them by Williams, using their Medicaid benefit cards as a form of insurance payment. This scheme cost Medicaid and the State of New York thousands of dollars in losses. The following is a list of the charges against the five co-defendants:
- On or about and between December 3, 2008, and March 9, 2010, defendant Williams provided defendant Stacy Clark with nine prescriptions each for 60 tablets of Oxycontin in 80-mg doses, which Clark filled at Warren’s Pharmacy, owned by Chippa Enterprises Inc., located at 595 Jefferson Avenue in Monroe County, using her Medicaid benefits card as a form of insurance payment.
- On December 28, 2009, defendant Williams provided defendant Jessica Connolly with one prescription for 60 tablets of Oxycontin in 80-mg doses, which Connolly filled at Rite Aid #189, located at 23 Slayton Avenue in Monroe County, using her Medicaid benefits card as a form of insurance payment.
- On or about and between October 26, 2009, and February 5, 2010, defendant Williams provided defendant Anestacia Wilson with four prescriptions each for 60 tablets of Oxycontin in 80-mg doses. Wilson filled three of the four prescriptions at Walgreens, located at 430 Spencerport Road in Monroe County, and then filled one of the four prescriptions at Park Ridge Apothecary, located at 89 Genesee Street in Monroe County, using her Medicaid benefits card as a form of insurance payment.
- On or about and between December 9, 2008, and February 22, 2010, defendant Williams provided defendant Bettina Wilson with 11 prescriptions each for 60 tablets of Oxycontin in 80-mg doses. Wilson filled seven of the 11 prescriptions at Warren’s Pharmacy, three of the 11 prescriptions at Park Ridge Apothecary, and one of the 11 prescriptions at the Spencerport Road Walgreens, using her Medicaid benefits card as a form of insurance payment.
In total, the defendants, by falsely representing themselves, defrauded the New York State Medicaid system of the $16,378.29 to which they were not entitled.
The defendants were charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.
Following today’s plea, defendants Shantel Williams, Stacy Clark, Jessica Connolly and Bettina Wilson have all pleaded guilty. The charges against remaining defendant Anestacia Wilson are accusations, and that defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Regional Director Catherine Wagner of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The investigation was conducted by Supervising Investigator William Falk and Principal Auditor Thomas Clarke, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Thaddeus Fisher.