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North Tonawanda pharmacist arrested, charged with prescription fraud

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Patrick R. McQuade, 29, of North Tonawanda, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of a controlled substance by fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant is a New York State licensed pharmacist currently employed as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. McQuade was previously employed by the Rite Aid Corporation from January 2015 until his firing in December 2017. The defendant was fired after an internal investigation discovered that McQuade created fictitious patient accounts which enabled him to create fraudulent prescriptions using Rite Aid’s inventory system. After creating a fraudulent prescription, the defendant then dispensed and diverted the controlled substances for personal use.

The complaint states that McQuade created 20 fictitious patient profiles and 47 fraudulent prescriptions to dispense a total of 1,874 dosage units of Alprazolam, Phentermine, Cialis, and Synjardy of varying strengths. Internal investigators verified that none of the doctors listed on the prescriptions had prescribed the medications to the fictitious patients.

McQuade made an initial appearance today before U.S Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroder and was released on conditions. One of those conditions prevents the defendant from continuing to dispense controlled substances.   

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.