by: Tom Regan Updated:
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - A 66-year-old veteran nurse from Cherokee
County is charged with forging physicians' signatures for fraudulent drug prescriptions used at nearly a dozen drug stores over a yearlong period.
"She used a variety of different doctors and as far as we know at this point, none of the doctors had any knowledge of this. She has worked in more than one office during the time frame that this was going on," said Commander of the Cherokee County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Phil Price.
Price told Channel 2's Tom Regan, nurse practitioner Kathryn Shoemaker recruited a dozen acquaintances as "runners" to purchase drugs using fraudulent prescriptions that she allegedly created on a computer.
Authorities said 200 bogus prescriptions were used to obtain 8,000 doses of medication that included Xanax, Percocet and hydrocodone. Price said the drugs were sold on the street.
"We're looking at about $120,000 worth in street value. She was the person who had the technical information necessary to create these fraudulent prescriptions. She knew the appropriate verbage, she knew the Drug Enforcement Administration numbers that would work. She knew how the system worked." said Price.
In addition to Shoemaker, authorities arrested a dozen others accused of participating in the prescription fraud ring.
The Secretary of State, whose office licenses and certifies nurses, was notified of Shoemaker's arrest and may take punitive action.
Authorities said she remains in the Cherokee