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Berks County Woman Charged with Felony Forgery in Alleged Vicodin Scam

Tony Di Domizio

Monday, August 25, 2014 • 10:32am

A woman from Mohnton, Berks County, has been charged by Lansdale Police with felony forgery, misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor identity theft, and two counts of misdemeanor procuring pharmaceuticals through misrepresentation, according to court records.

Martha Elizabeth Gipprich, 28, of the unit block of N. O’Neil Street, allegedly attempted to fill a prescription of Vicodin for her boyfriend at the Rite Aid Pharmacy on West Main Street, Lansdale, on Aug. 20 at 11:23 a.m., police said.

Lansdale Police responded for a report of possible prescription fraud. A pharmacist told police that a white woman, with brown hair, a blue top and tan pants, was attempting to fill a prescription, police said.

The pharmacist called the doctor identified on the pharmacy’s voicemail requesting the prescription, but the doctor provided in the voicemail had not authorized the prescription, police said.

Officers spoke with Gipprich, who told police she was at Rite Aid to pick up a Vicodin prescription for her boyfriend, Justin Hostetler, police said.

The pharmacist showed police the prescription form, showing it was for Vicodin for Hostetler, prescribed by Dr. Philip Pearlstein, police said. The name of the employee who called in the prescription was “Jennifer,” police said. A contact number was given for GlaxoSmithKline.

Pearlstein and his office manager were contacted at their Norristown location, and they told police that Hostetler is not a patient, and Pearlstein did not prescribe anything for Hostetler, police said.

Pearlstein told police Gipprich was a former physician’s assistant at his office, police said, and that there was a former employee named “Jennifer.”

Gipprich was taken into custody and taken to Lansdale Police Department, where she waived her Miranda Rights and gave a three-page typed statement to police, police said.

In the statement, Gipprich allegedly admitted to calling in the prescription to Rite Aid for Vicodin, police said. She allegedly admitted to using Pearlstein’s prescription information to obtain the prescription, police said, and using the name “Jennifer” because she knew it was a former employee at Pearlstein’s.

Gipprich also allegedly admitted that she knew what she was doing was wrong, police said.

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