Virginia Beach woman pleads guilty to making false statements to Medicaid

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A Department of Justice logo is shown on a podium during a news conference about Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in Philadelphia. Federal prosecutors say drug maker will plead guilty to charges it marketed an epilepsy medicine for unapproved uses and pay more than $400 million in civil and criminal penalties. (AP Photo/Matt […]

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to making a false statement to the Medicaid Program.

While working as the office manager for a psychiatric practice in Virginia Beach, Mary Otto, 53, wrote prescriptions for an unidentified number of patients, despite the fact that she was only in charge of administrative tasks.

She had no medical training and was not licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medications in Virginia.

The psychiatrist who owned the practice often traveled for months at a time. During his absence, Otto wrote prescriptions for patients using blank pre-signed prescription pads.

According to court documents, Otto prescribed Schedule II and III controlled substances, such as Adderall.

Medicaid would not have paid for the prescriptions had they known a licenced doctor was not writing them.

Otto’s sentencing will take place on Nov. 5 and she faces up to five years in prison.

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