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Forger shows up in court with phony doctor note

March 29, 2011

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—A California woman facing nearly five years in prison for forging drug prescriptions showed up for sentencing with a phony doctor's note seeking a delay in the proceedings.

Michelle Elaine Astumian was free on $45,000 bail and pleaded no contest in January to felony counts of forgery and using a fraudulent check.

The 41-year-old woman arrived Monday for sentencing in a San Luis Obispo County courtroom and presented a note with a doctor's signature asking for a postponement.

Prosecutor Dave Pomeroy called the doctor, who said the note is a forgery.

The judge immediately ordered Astumian into custody and she collapsed to the floor. An ambulance took her to a hospital.

Pomeroy told the San Luis Obispo County Tribune that Astumian will be sentenced later, but he doesn't know when.

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