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Fayette attorney charged with illegally obtaining prescription drugs

A Fayette County attorney has been charged with using forged prescriptions to illegally obtain prescription pain medications.

William David Assad, 34, of 123 Union St., Uniontown, was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of unlawfully obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud or forgery.

According to the police criminal complaint, Assad used his personal computer to scan old prescriptions and modify them. The altered prescriptions were then taken to a Uniontown pharmacy to be filled.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett said the investigation began in June 2005 after a Uniontown pharmacist reported a case of suspected prescription fraud to the Uniontown Police Department. Uniontown police contacted agents from the Attorney General's Drug Diversion Unit who launched the investigation.

The criminal complaint indicates that prescription records identified nine suspicious prescriptions in Assad's name. The prescriptions were for Loritab and Vicodin, both narcotic pain medications containing hydrocodone. The nine suspicious prescriptions were allegedly filled by Assad between February and May 2005, totaling 330 Vicodin tablets and 270 Loritab tablets.

Corbett said the prescriptions were purportedly written by two Uniontown-area dentists. Bureau of Narcotics agents interviewed both dentists and verified the suspect prescriptions had not been written or signed by them.

Assad was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Mark Blair and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. Assad waived his preliminary hearing and will appear in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.

Corbett said that the charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

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