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Tucson podiatrist pleads guilty to forging narcotics prescriptions

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Tucson podiatrist Dr. Loren Scott Wessel pleaded guilty to Forgery, a class four felony in Pima County Superior Court. This case stems from a joint investigation conducted by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Health Care Fraud and Abuse Section and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Phoenix Division.

In June of 2016, a veterinary supply company contacted the DEA after Dr. Wessel made a purchase of more than five thousand oxycodone tablets. Investigators quickly learned Dr. Wessel was filling forged prescriptions for narcotics at a Tucson pharmacy.  DEA Agents and AZAG Special Agents determined Dr. Wessel forged prescriptions for narcotics by using the name of a local doctor.  Investigators believe Dr. Wessel was not providing the oxycodone to others but was writing the prescriptions to feed his own addiction.

In September 2016, a State Grand Jury indicted Dr. Wessel on charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug by Fraud, and Forgery.

Dr. Wessel will be sentenced on July 14, 2017. He faces 1 to 3.75 years in prison. As a condition of the plea, Dr. Wessel will voluntarily surrender his DEA license to prescribe narcotics.

If you suspect your name is being used on forged prescriptions, contact the DEA.

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