• 52°

China Grove doctor, wife, others charged with prescription fraud, trafficking

CHINA GROVE — A local doctor, his wife and six others conspired to fill 200 fraudulent prescriptions for the pain reliever hydrocodone between October 2012 and March of this year, authorities said today.
Dr. Orrin Walker and wife Abby Walker are each charged with trafficking in opiates by possession. The other six suspects are accused of getting fraudulent prescriptions written by Dr. Walker filled in their names.
China Grove Police Chief Eddie Kluttz said Dr. Walker and some of the other suspects were using the drugs themselves.
“There is no indication any were sold,” Kluttz said of the drugs.
Three of those suspects worked with 44-year-old Abby Walker at Bostian Elementary School, where she was a teacher, according to authorities. They are Meredith Wiggins Raynes, 43, a teacher; Alisha Beaver Christian, 31, a teacher assistant; and Tammy Aldridge Eudy, 45, a teacher assistant.
Also charged are Teresa Beaver Seagroves, 53, an administrative assistant at McKnight School in Kannapolis; Summer Knight Thomason, 31, an educator at Southside Christian Academy in Salisbury; and Crystal Elizabeth Maness, 31, of Salisbury.
Each of the six women is charged with multiple counts each of conspiracy to commit prescription fraud or forgery.
Dr. Walker, 48, who worked at Main Street Family Practice in China Grove, has surrendered his license to the N.C. Medical Board, and Abby Walker has resigned from Bostian Elementary School, authorities said.
The charges are the result of a four-month investigation by the China Grove and Landis police departments and the SBI’s Drug Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit.
Authorities say Walker and his wife sought out co-workers and friends who agreed to assist the couple in the scheme.
Dr. Walker used the names of the suspects, with whom he had “no legitimate doctor-patient relationship with, on prescriptions for hydrocodone called in by him to area Rowan County pharmacies.”
Authorities said Abby Walker would coordinate with the other suspects, who allowed their names to be used for the pick-up, payment and delivery of the pills to the Walkers.
Investigators identified 200 fraudulent prescriptions involving 25,000 doses of hydrocodone.
On Monday, a Rowan County Grand Jury returned indictments against all eight of the suspects.
Authorities did not say in a statement today what the Walkers were doing with the pills, but they said investigators determined the students at the schools where Abby Walker and the others worked were never in danger.
The Rowan-Salisbury School System and Main Street Family Practice were fully cooperative with law enforcement during the investigation, authorities said.
Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, said in a statement her office “will immediately investigate the conduct of the Bostian Elementary staff members who have been charged with drug offenses.”
Moody said district officials first learned of the investigation in mid-March when law enforcement went to Bostian Elementary to interview Abby Walker. Walker was suspended and then resigned.
“Local law enforcement later informed me that the investigation was continuing and could involve other staff members, and I am grateful to them for communicating with me. In order to protect the ongoing investigation, law enforcement was unable to share with us the identity of any other suspects until today,” Moody said in a statement.
“Now that we have the employee names, we can move forward with our own investigation and appropriate personnel action. Tammy Eudy has been suspended without pay. We are in the process of contacting the others at this time, and cannot yet make any statement about their status,” she said.
“The Rowan-Salisbury Schools will not tolerate any illegal drug-related activity by our employees, and will act to maintain the safety of our students and staff,” Moody said.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Prosecution weaves story of betrayal as trial begins for man charged with killing father

Elections

Alexander, Sheffield maintain lead in cash on hand, fundraising in mayor, City Council race

Education

Livingstone offers full scholarship to Liberian teen who returned money

Education

Realtors association donates $3,000, books to Yum Yum Bus Program

Education

RSS celebrates principals in October

Education

Shout outs

Local

‘It all comes back to community’: Rowan United Way three-fourths of way through campaign

China Grove

In bid for China Grove Town Council, Cheryl Sheets hopes to ‘pay it forward’

Education

Education briefs: Catawba helps build Habitat home

Education

Students take a trip into the past at the Roller Mill

News

Cooper still hopeful on budget deal with NC Republicans

Nation/World

Biden urges bill over ‘finish line’ as Dems eye new surtax

Nation/World

Cheap antidepressant shows promise treating early COVID-19

News

Former North Carolina sheriff indicted on additional charges

News

She asked to bring oxygen to work — they fired her instead

Crime

Blotter: Oct. 27

Crime

Man faces charges in juvenile’s shooting on West Bank Street

Education

RSS gets clean audit, firm says no misappropriations of school funds

News

Rowan County recalibrates plans for Woodleaf Community Park after missing out on grant funding

News

NC NAACP elects first woman as president; Salisbury’s Black finishes third

Coronavirus

FDA OKs Pfizer vaccine for young kids

News

State news roundup: Davidson County parents charged in abuse of 6-week-old

Coronavirus

COVID spread down substantially in North Carolina, state data shows

Sports

ACC eyes new headquarters options outside Greensboro