Bennett faces charges of prescription fraud
GREENCASTLE -- A Bargersville woman accused of forging prescriptions while employed by a Monrovia dentist is set to go to trial in March.
Melissa Bennett, 31, is charged in Putnam County Circuit Court with three counts of Class D felony forgery of prescription for legend drugs and three counts of Class D felony obtaining or attempting to obtain legend drugs. According to court documents Bennett, formerly of Cloverdale, "did cause 26 prescriptions to be filled and did so in a manner which made it appear to pharmacies as though Dr. Tracy Sapp of the Monrovia Dental Clinic in Monrovia had authorized and ordered the prescriptions."
Twenty-four of the allegedly forged prescriptions were for hydrocodone (Vicodin), a painkiller. One was for Diazepam, commonly used for treating anxiety, and one was for Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug more commonly known under the trade name Xanax.
An affidavit for probable cause said Bennett filled the prescriptions by phone using pharmacies in Johnson, Hendricks, Marion, Morgan and Putnam counties.
The affidavit also states that in August, Sapp's office manager discovered Bennett, by that time a former employee of Monrovia Dental Clinic, had been faxing prescriptions for Vicodin for herself.
"The faxes made it appear as though Dr. Sapp had authorized the prescriptions," the affidavit said. "Dr. Sapp stated he did not write any prescriptions for Vicodin for Melissa Bennett and he does not recall ever writing any prescriptions for the suspect. Dr. Sapp also stated that it appears that the prescriptions were faxed in and then they were deleted from the patient file on the office computer."
Pharmacies Bennett allegedly filled the fraudulent prescriptions at included Wal-Mart in Greencastle, Kroger in Greencastle, CVS stories in Greencastle and Mooresville and Cloverdale Drugs.
The investigation into Bennett's alleged criminal activities was headed up by Master Trooper and Detective Brian A. Maudlin of the Putnamville District of the Indiana State Police. The prescriptions were forged between Jan. 9 and Aug. 15, court records said.
Maudlin interviewed Bennett at her home on Sept. 4, court documents said. At that time, she confessed to having called in one prescription for Vicodin for herself using Dr. Sapp's name.
"When I asked Melissa Bennett if some prescriptions had been deleted from the computer at the Monrovia Dental Clinic, she said she did not know, although she admitted that not all prescriptions were recorded properly," Maudlin said.
Bennett is accused of forging prescriptions for eight individuals besides herself. One of those individuals alleged that Bennett charged her $100 three different times for calling in prescriptions, court records said.
Bennett spent one night in jail before posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond and being released.
Bennett entered into a pretrial diversion on Sept. 23, 2008, for a Class A misdemeanor check deception charge. She is scheduled to take a class for that diversion program on March 7.
If convicted on all charges, Bennett could face up to 10 years in prison.