Former Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty to Illegal Distribution of Opioids,Health Care Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Obstruction of Justice
Conspired with Dr. Myra Mabry to Fill Opioid Prescriptions For No Legitimate Purpose
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Sarah Brown, age 42, of Acra, Greene County, New York, pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute controlled substances, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstruction of justice.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.
As part of her guilty plea, Brown, a former registered nurse, admitted that between 2015 and 2017, she worked with a co-conspirator, Dr. Myra Mabry, to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone, morphine, and hydromorphone, for no legitimate medical purpose, by impersonating Mabry’s patients at pharmacies, knowing that health care benefit programs would pay the cost of the drugs.
Brown also admitted that she attempted to obstruct a federal investigation by testifying falsely before a federal grand jury that she was blackmailing Mabry into providing the prescriptions. As Brown admitted in her guilty plea, that was a lie, because Mabry was not the subject of an extortionate scheme, and was a willing member of the conspiracy to distribute opioids for no legitimate medical purpose. Brown admitted that Mabry agreed to pay Brown for the false testimony in the hope of minimizing Mabry’s criminal exposure and keeping her medical license.
Brown faces a mandatory 2-year term of imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft charge, and up to 20 years in prison on the remaining charges, when she is sentenced by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by the DEA, with assistance from the New York State Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne A. Myers.