An investigation that began last month with a suspicious pharmacist has resulted in the arrests of three people, including a doctor and his wife, police said Wednesday.
The investigation, Colonie police said, centered around the doctor’s wife, Jennifer George, 28, of East Schodack. She is accused of trying to use forged prescriptions for controlled substances, either trying to use them herself under an assumed name or trying to get another person to use them for her, police said.
The forged prescriptions were on prescription paper traced to the office of her husband, Dr. Kevin George, 53, where she worked as an office manager. The signatures were forged to make it look like her husband’s physician’s assistant had signed them, police said.
Kevin George, a doctor since 1995 who has had a prior run-in with the state over his practice, allegedly verified one of the forged prescriptions to the suspicious pharmacist, police said.
It wasn’t until a subsequent arrest of Jennifer George on a driving while ability impaired by drugs charge that the story began to unravel further, police said.
In the end, Jennifer George faces five felony counts, four for second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, the other for fourth-degree criminal possession of a narcotic drug.
Her husband faces one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, accused of conspiring with his wife to obtain Xanax and morphine.
Also charged is Nicholas A. Marro, 30, of Berwyn Street, Colonie. He faces one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, accused of trying to fill a forged prescription Monday for Jennifer George.
The investigation began June 26 after a pharmacist at the Shop Rite at 1730 Central Ave. became suspicious of a prescription, but was only able to determine it was stolen and forged after filling it when she contacted the physician’s assistant who supposedly wrote it, police said.
The person was using a false identity, but was determined to be Jennifer George, police said. The pharmacist then contacted Kevin George, who verified the veracity of the prescription, police said.
On July 2, police arrested Jennifer George on the drugged-driving charge after a traffic stop. During that stop, police uncovered other evidence related to passing the stolen and forged prescriptions.
Six days later, on Monday, an investigator with the state Bureau of Controlled Substances was at the CVS Pharmacy on Sand Creek Road, where he became aware of a man trying to pass a similar stolen and forged prescription for Percocet.
Marro was subsequently arrested in the parking lot. Police then determined Jennifer George was also involved and was nearby, and she was arrested, as well.
Then, as Kevin George arrived at the station, he was arrested on charges related to the June 26 incident.
The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible, police said. The investigation has revealed other incidents involving similar forged prescriptions traced to Kevin George’s office for Xanax, morphine, methadone, oxycodone, diazepam and soma. Those also used the same forged signature.
The case is the latest of Kevin George’s troubles. A psychiatrist with an office in Colonie, George was charged last year with misdemeanor sexual abuse, accused of rubbing up against two employees at his Colonie office on separate occasions in May 2012.
Those charges remain pending, officials said.
George was also fined $20,000 by the state Health Department’s Board of Professional Medical Conduct last year and given a three-year probationary term after he admitted to negligence in June 2011.
The board initially lodged 36 “specifications of professional misconduct,” according to Health Department records. Among the charges, the board found George had prescribed inappropriate amounts of certain drugs to several patients, including one where he was accused of prescribing Xanax in inappropriate amounts. He was also accused of failing to properly monitor them after they were placed on medication and didn’t keep adequate records of their treatment.