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Martinsburg doctors face prescription fraud charges

August 10, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Two physicians are scheduled to appear in Berkeley County Magistrate Court this month on felony charges for their alleged role in a prescription fraud case, according to court records.

Tressie Monene Duffy, 39, of 808 Jerry Court, Martinsburg, is charged with felony counts of prescription fraud and conspiracy to commit prescription fraud.

Robert William Phares, 39, of 53 Temptations Drive, Martinsburg, is charged with a felony count of conspiracy to obtain a controlled substance, according to court records.

Both were released on personal recognizance bonds last week in magistrate court, records show. Duffy is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing. Phares' hearing is set for Aug. 24, according to court records.

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The alleged prescription fraud case surfaced on May 29, when Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy Lt. Gary Harmison said he was contacted by John Sherman Jr., a lieutenant with the Martinsburg Police Department.

Sherman told Harmison that a prescription in his wife's name was partially filled at Moore's Pharmacy in Old Courthouse Square, but she was not supposed to get the drugs and did not pick them up, according to the deputy's complaint.

Phares told police he called in the prescription for Angela Sherman and didn't know why Duffy picked up the medication, Harmison said in his complaint. Angela Sherman separately told police that she didn't contact Phares to get the prescription for Methotrexate and Cytotec, according to Harmison's complaint.

The Cytotec prescription wasn't filled and Angela Sherman told police she already had a valid prescription for the medication for arthritis, according to Harmison's complaint.

Duffy, meanwhile, told police she picked up the medication, but didn't realize the prescription was in Angela Sherman's name.

"She also stated that Dr. Phares did call this in for her, but didn't know why it would have had Angela Sherman's name on it," according to Harmison's complaint.

Duffy also said that she often gets medication to keep in stock at her office, Harmison said in his complaint.

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