A woman who almost got her friend arrested for doing her a favor will serve three months in jail for fraudulently obtaining drugs.
The woman, Stephanie Vargas, was directed to serve 90 days of a three-year sentence, perform 50 hours public service work, and must forfeit her TennCare benefits on charges of fraudulently obtaining drugs and fraudulent use of TennCare benefits.
The sentence comes after Vargas changed a prescription her doctor had written her for Barclofen. She added a prescription for Loritab which the doctor had not written her, penciling it in to the written prescription. The pharmacy, upon seeing the prescription, could not make out how many refills were permitted so the pharmacist called the doctor. It was at that point the doctor said he had not included Loritab in the prescription.
Realizing Vargas was trying to defraud them, the pharmacy called police who said to go ahead and fill the Loritabs and they would arrest her for fraud. However, instead of Vargas pulling up to the drive-thru window, her friend, Misty Watson, pulled up and purchased the prescription.
After being pulled over and confronted by police, Watson said she did not realize her friend was trying to defraud the pharmacy.
“She said her friend had texted her and asked if she would pick up her prescription for her,” said McMinnville patrolwoman Leilani DeFore. “She said she had no idea about the forged prescription.”
Believing her story, police told her to go ahead and deliver the prescription to Vargas. However, Vargas, perhaps realizing something was amiss, had Watson drive her around town before she took the medication and quickly exited the vehicle, disappearing before police could arrest her. She was taken into custody later.
Her surrendering of TennCare benefits will only be enforceable while she is on probation. After her probation is finished, she can re-apply for benefits even though she abused the system in an attempt to get unprescribed Loritabs.