Doctor's office worker arrested for prescription drug fraud

CHICO, Calif. - A Chico woman is facing charges in a prescription fraud investigation.

Cassie Lawley, 37, was arrested Thursday morning.

Police say they received a report last month from a pharmacy that said they had been receiving an abnormally high number of prescriptions for Norco, a painkiller, from a local doctor's office.

Those prescriptions were for 540 pills at a time, and totaled more than 15,000 pills since November 2012.

Investigators say when the pharmacy called the doctor's office to confirm the prescriptions, an employee said they were legitimate and that the doctor wasn't available to talk. A person claiming to be the doctor later called the pharmacy and repeated that statement.

The pharmacy was able to contact the doctor after getting his personal cell phone number from another doctor in Chico. The doctor said he had not spoken to the pharmacy, and that neither the prescriptions or the patients were real.

Lawley, an employee at the doctor's office, was arrested on charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and burglary.

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