How Not To Scam Painkillers

According to the state Department of Labor and Industries, a 41-year-old Bremerton man has been sentenced to 26 months in prison for scamming local hospitals for painkillers.

Citing the state Attorney General’s Office, a victorious press release from L&I says that Robert B. Boyer, Jr. recently pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances. The release says that, starting in November 2012, Boyer made “51 visits to more than two dozen emergency rooms and urgent-care clinics” in Western Washington, seeking “Vicodin, Percocet and other painkillers.” As part of the sentence levied against him, a King County Superior Court judge also ordered Boyer to participate in drug treatment and repay the hospitals and clinics.

More details from the press release:

A Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) investigation found that Boyer showed up with visible cuts and other injuries, seeking painkillers at emergency rooms over a three-month period starting in November 2012.

Boyer claimed he suffered the injuries while working as an ironworker, but held no such job. In addition, charging papers said, he provided false names and false Social Security numbers in an effort to open workers’ compensation claims.

L&I covers medical expenses for legitimate workplace injuries. In these cases, however, Boyer left medical facilities with an estimated $147,000 in unpaid fees. The Department of Labor & Industries pays medical costs for legitimate claims, but in these cases, Boyer left hospitals to pick up the tab.

Boyer hit medical providers throughout Western Washington, from small locally owned clinics to multiple facilities in the UW Medicine, MultiCare and Franciscan health systems.

As part of a plea agreement, the Attorney General’s office will dismiss 15 similar counts in Pierce County, but Boyer has agreed to also repay the hospitals in those charges. The specific amount of restitution will be determined at a hearing April 30.

“This was a particularly flagrant example of someone abusing the workers’ comp and health systems to get prescription drugs by fraud,” said Elizabeth Smith, L&I assistant director of Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards. “Drug-seekers need to know our investigators will find you and hold you responsible.”

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