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Scammers Hacked Doctors’ Prescription Accounts to Get Addictive Drugs From Pharmacies Across US

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly compared this modern-day crime to stealing a doctor's prescription pad.
Cover Image Source: Pills | Pexels |  Pixabay
Cover Image Source: Pills | Pexels | Pixabay

Scammers hacked into doctors' prescribing accounts and wrote tens of thousands of orders for addictive drugs and then had runners pick them up from pharmacies in various states across the country, prosecutors in New York said. 

Twenty-one-year-old Devin Antony Magarian, who is the leader of the professional drug ring, pleaded not guilty during a court appearance on Long Island, as per the reports.

Cover Image Source: Pexels/
Karolina Grabowska
Doctor (representative image) | Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly compared this modern-day crime to stealing a doctor's prescription pad. She also talked about how this case brought to light the loopholes in the current electronic prescription system that is being used by doctors in today's day and age.

"This defendant and his associates have found ways to exploit the entire security system around e-prescribing," Donnelly said in her office in the Mineola courthouse. "This case is a sobering reminder that drug dealers have become cybercriminals, who are often way ahead of everyone else."

Devin Anthony Magarian faced 19 criminal charges, including illegally selling controlled substances and illegally diverting prescription medications, as per US News. The defendant's lawyer dismissed the case as a "rush to judgment." "My client is 21 years old with no criminal record," he wrote in an email. 

Photo illustration of boxes of the diabetes drug Ozempic | Getty Images | Photo illustration by Mario Tama
Medicinal drugs | Getty Images | Photo illustration by Mario Tama

According to prosecutors, they are still investigating and trying to piece up how Magarian obtained the credentials and hacked the accounts. He reportedly generated fake patient information and used it to generate thousands of drug prescriptions. The hacking mainly involved descriptions of a powerful painkiller called Oxycodone, Promethazine and Codeine which are cough syrups.

These drugs can be mixed with alcohol as well as other beverages to create a recreational drug concoction often referred to as purple drank or sizzurp. The prescriptions were then used in many pharmacies across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and the Carolinas.

Representative Image | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle
Prescribing drugs (Representative Image) | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle

According to the prosecutors, he operated a channel on the messaging app, Telegram, where he used to notify the customers when the next round of prescriptions would be available so that they can easily place their orders using the prescription. Margarian was living a very luxurious life along with his crew who helped him pull this off. He was reportedly buying luxury cars frequently visiting premium steakhouses and strip clubs and enjoying courtside seats at NBA games.

County District Attorney Anne Donnelly says that the crew was in high demand and they were charging a premium because they were easily proving that their drugs were authentic. She also says that in just five hours the crew sent out 18,500 prescriptions across 18 states in the country. The whole case came to light after law enforcement officials on Long Island were alerted by a local pharmacist about a suspicious prescription. Margarian was charged by police earlier in January when he was in New York to collect $14,000 from a customer after he purchased more than 600 Oxycodone pills.