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July 14, 2020
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Impersonating pharmacists

August 2, 2019

Charges against Kim Thien Le for illegally impersonating pharmacists

Be aware who fills your medications

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced criminal charges against Kim Thien Le for falsely impersonating licensed pharmacists at Walgreens pharmacies in Santa Clara and Alameda Counties. The charges allege that from Nov. 1, 2006 to Sept. 5, 2017, Ms. Le committed multiple felonies by using the license numbers of legitimately registered pharmacists in order to illegally impersonate pharmacists and dispense prescriptions to patients. During this time, Ms. Le allegedly dispensed more than 745,000 prescriptions, of which more than 100,000 contained highly regulated controlled substances, including prescription opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine. It is further alleged that the defendant never obtained a pharmacist license and was therefore never actually legally permitted to dispense medication.

On July 26, 2019, Ms. Le surrendered and was booked in the Santa Clara County Jail.

“Californians picking up medications at their local pharmacy should never have to worry about whether pharmacies are employing licensed pharmacists to dispense prescriptions,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The California Department of Justice is committed to protecting patients from anyone who unlawfully practices without a license. Today’s announcement should serve as a stern warning — we are committed to ending this reckless behavior and will vigorously hold wrongdoers accountable.”

The complaint, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges three felony counts: false personation, identity theft, and obtaining money, labor or property by false pretenses. The case stems from an investigation conducted by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA). Through BMFEA, the Attorney General’s office works to protect Californians by investigating and prosecuting those responsible for abuse, neglect, and fraud committed against elderly and dependent adults in care facilities. BMFEA also regularly works with whistleblowers and law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute fraud perpetrated on the Medi-Cal program.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.