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Second arrest made in Pinellas prescription drug fraud case

PINELLAS PARK — Pinellas deputies said Friday they've arrested a second person in connection with a prescription drug fraud case.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 58-year-old Teresa I. Morgan, a former office manager at a doctor's office, was working with a licensed practical nurse to fill bogus prescriptions for drugs including narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety medications. Authorities say the two both previously worked for the same doctor's office.

Morgan, of 6669 80th Ave. N, Pinellas Park, turned herself in to narcotics detectives on Friday morning. She was charged with seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and three counts of trafficking in hydrocodone.

The nurse, 53-year-old Jamie D. Snide, 53, of 4718 22nd St. N in St. Petersburg, was arrested Wednesday. On Friday afternoon, she was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $51,000 bail.

According to the Sheriff's Office, detectives began investigating the case after they received a tip in March that Snide, whose state nurse's license identifies her as Jamie D. Gallegly Hartley, was regularly using a previous employer's name to order hydrocodone and Soma.

On Friday, deputies said that Snide also called in prescriptions for Morgan, who would then pick them up from a pharmacy.

Morgan was just released from the county jail on March 21 after posting bail on a charge of scheme to defraud.

In that case, authorities said, Morgan is accused of bilking the doctor's office where she once worked out of $280,000.

Pinellas Park police said Morgan contacted the clinic's payroll vendor and doubled her salary to $80,000 without authorization, which netted her more than $157,000 over time. She is also accused of using the clinic's checking account to pay personal bills to the tune of $39,000, police said.

Second arrest made in Pinellas prescription drug fraud case 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 4:29pm]
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