Woman gets probation for getting fraudulent oxy prescriptions while on MaineCare

Posted Aug. 24, 2012, at 4:45 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A South Portland woman was sentenced Friday to five years of probation for conspiracy to obtain drugs by deception and health care fraud.

Tammy Sargent, 37, admitted a year ago that at least two fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone were issued in her name by a doctor she and another person met in a bar in 2009.

Sargent was receiving MaineCare at the time.

U.S. District Judge George Singal ordered her to pay $42.87 in restitution to reimburse MaineCare.

She is the third person to be sentenced an investigation centered on a Portland podiatrist.

Dr. John B. Perry, 51, of Bridgton was associated with Atlantic Foot & Ankle Center in Portland when he allegedly traded prescriptions for narcotics for cocaine.

The physician was indicted in February by a federal grand jury on 43 counts of distribution of a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and one count of health care fraud.

Dariem Vanalstyne, 25, of New London, Conn., was sentenced in June to a year and three months in federal prison on four counts of acquiring drugs by deception. He admitted to trading cocaine for prescriptions for oxycodone from Perry on at least four occasions in 2009.

Manford Rideout, 43, of Windham was sentenced in March to a year and a day in prison for conspiracy to acquire drugs by deception. He was released in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate Locator. The time Rideout was held without bail from his arrest in last August to his sentencing in March was counted toward his sentence.

Between March 4 and Sept. 20, 2010, Rideout obtained more than 20 prescriptions for oxycodone, a powerfully addictive painkiller, from Perry, according to court documents.

In exchange for introducing other people to Perry, Rideout would receive a “cut” of any prescriptions the doctor wrote, according to the prosecution version of events to which Rideout pleaded guilty. Rideout also told investigators he gave the doctor cash payments as a “tip” for giving him so many prescriptions, which were written outside of the doctor’s medical office. One of them was written at a Portland bar, according to court documents.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined Friday to say whether others have been charged in connection with the doctor’s alleged activities.

The prosecution version of events to which Sargent pleaded guilty in August 2011 said that she and “Individual 1” met Perry at a bar. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Joyce after Sargent’s sentencing refused to identify “Individual 1.”

Sargent, Rideout, Vanalstyne each faced up to four years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

If convicted, Perry faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

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