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Former medical employee indicted in opioid fraud scheme

Juan Carlos Hernandez web.jpg
Posted at 9:30 AM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 20:20:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A man who worked for a cancer center was indicted in a scheme involving fraudulent opioids prescriptions.

According to the state attorney general, 31-year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez faces charges including one count of fraud and four counts of computer tampering.

When Hernandez worked for Banner University Medical Center, he allegedly illegally accessed information for patients who were prescribed opioids. He then contacted them, telling them their drugs were either expired or being recalled. Then Hernandez would show up to their homes to collect the drugs.

Banner healthcare is not saying much at this time other than they do not condone what 31 year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez allegedly did -- illegally accessing patient information in order to obtain prescription history and addresses. In a statement Banner Health stated the following:

"We are unable to comment on legal findings or actions. However, we at Banner Health take prescription drug fraud very seriously and applaud the Attorney General and Arizona law enforcement agencies for their ongoing vigorous efforts to protect our local communities."

This is another important reminder for people at home to keep all prescription medications securely stored and out of the hands of people for whom they were not prescribed. Now more than ever, this is an important public health issue and we all have a role to play.

Deputy Daniel Jelineo with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department is now giving folks a warning about fraudulent calls.

“If somebody is calling and tel;ling you that your prescription medication is expired or that it is no longer valid or good, it’s probably a scam. Your primary care physician, wherever you get your treatment at, will be the one to most likely be calling you to let you know of dangers involved with prescription medication you may be in possession of,” said Deputy Jelineo.

This comes after former Banner Healthcare Cancer Center employee, 31 year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez, Allegedly posed as a pharmacy employee, contacted patients to tell them their opioid or pain killers were expired or being recalled, and showed up to their homes to collect the medication.

“If you receive this call and do believe it is a fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency and report it so we can document the information,” Deputy Jelineo TOLD KGUN9.

If you want to properly dispose of your medications, do not flush them or toss them down the drain.

“Our wastewater treatment facilities don;t have the means to properly filter these chemicals out of the water systems so it does in turn ends up in your drinking water and could harm you,” said Deputy Jelineo.

Instead, you can take them to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

“We do have an event coming up. October 26th 2019. The time of this event will be from 10am and 2pm. The drop off locations will be at walmart stores across the county. We’re not going to interrogate you and ask why you are dropping them off. It’s completely discreet,” Deputy Jelineo added.

The DEA Dispose-A-Med event will take place in the following locations:

Walmart - 7635 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Walmart - 9260 S. Houghton Rd.

Walmart - 1650 W. Valencia Rd.

They will be accepting over-the-counter pills, capsules, caplets, gel caps, medicated patches, and powders.

They will not accept metal or glass inhalers, syringes, epi-pens, patches, creams, liquids, and diabetic test strips.

Hernandez has a case management conference scheduled in Pima County Superior Court Oct. 25.