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Burlington Police officer arraigned on charges of illegally obtaining prescription drugs and making fake disability claims

Posted by boston.com  November 18, 2013 09:46 AM

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This press release was provided by the Middlesex District Attorney's office

A Burlington Police Officer was arraigned on charges of falsifying prescriptions and making false disability claims, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced today.

Mark Driscoll, 38, of Wakefield, was arraigned Friday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on charges of forgery, larceny over $250, attempting to commit larceny, uttering false prescriptions, fraudulently obtaining controlled substances, obtaining a signature under false pretenses, and insurance fraud. Middlesex Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Matthew Day released the defendant on personal recognizance with the following conditions: he not leave the Commonwealth without approval of the Court, consume no alcohol, possess no drugs without a prescription, and participate in substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment.

The defendant’s next court date is December 12 for a pre-trial hearing.

“These are troubling allegations where an officer - while in uniform - knowingly passed false prescriptions and also made false disability claims to illegally obtain insurance money,” District Attorney Ryan said. “This officer violated the trust of the community of Burlington. I commend the collaborative work among agencies which resulted in the bringing of charges against this defendant for these fraudulent activities.”

According to authorities, Driscoll, a Burlington Police Officer since July 2004, went to a CVS Pharmacy in Burlington on July 10, 2013 seeking to obtain Percocet pills. The defendant, in his police uniform, attempted to fill a prescription in his wife’s name purportedly written by a physician’s assistant in Cambridge. The on-duty pharmacist noted that the prescription did not meet new security features that went into effect on July 1, 2013, and told the officer it could not be filled until it could be verified by the doctor the next morning. The pharmacist contacted the orthopedic practice on July 11, 2013 to verify the prescription and a doctor from the practice confirmed it was not valid.

Burlington Police were notified and an investigation was launched. Based on the investigation, officials allege that Driscoll had presented five fraudulent prescriptions to CVS pharmacy between May and July of 2013. It is alleged that Driscoll received more than 260 Percocet tablets through these false prescriptions.

Further, with the assistance of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program, officials learned that Driscoll also passed false prescriptions for pain medication at an Osco Pharmacy located in a Burlington supermarket. There, he allegedly filled four prescriptions, including several refills, between May and July, receiving hundreds of various pain medications. In all but one instance, Driscoll dropped off and picked up medications while in his police uniform.

On July 12, 2013, Driscoll was placed on administrative leave by the Burlington Police Department.

On July 25, 2013, Burlington Police were notified that the defendant had submitted paperwork to an insurance company for payment through a disability policy. A review of the documents revealed that the defendant submitted a letter with a forged signature from a member of the department’s administrative staff. A further investigation revealed that the defendant had submitted eight prior claims to the disability insurance provider since 2006. While he was working as a police officer, the defendant allegedly received disability payments, collecting tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent benefits.

As a result of the investigation, the defendant was indicted September 24 by a Middlesex Grand Jury.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the Burlington Police, the Unum Group, and the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts. The prosecutors assigned to the case are Assistant District Attorneys Elisha Willis and Kristen Noto.

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