The United States Drug Enforcement Administration received an anonymous complaint on Jan. 17, 2017 that a physician assistant was writing prescriptions after her DEA registration and state medical license had expired.
The assistant and one other person have been arrested, according to an affidavit.
Holly Jean Hipps, 41, allegedly filled out dozens of Oxycodone prescriptions since 2011 to be used by Dennis Lee Lingle, 60. Hipps told investigators that Lingle, at an undisclosed time, asked for pain prescriptions to him but in his wife’s name. She said the request was initially declined, but reversed her decision for unknown reasons.
Hipps was unable to provide agents from the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office agents with medical records for the Lingle family, but admitted to writing the prescriptions, according to the affidavit.
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Lingle paid Hipps $1,500 for Oxycodone prescriptions, according to the affidavit. More than 70 prescriptions were allegedly filled for Lingle in his wife’s or his wife’s cousin’s names without their knowledge.
The investigation, launched after the anonymous complaint and a court order to review of Hipps, uncovered that she had authorized two prescriptions after Dec. 31, 2016, when her DEA registration expired, according to the affidavit.
Hipps was working at Caring Healthcare Network in Philipsburg when the prescriptions were written, and an administrative assistant at the practice told investigators that some of the prescriptions were for people who weren’t patients. Another co-worker told investigators that Hipps had written Ambien and Xanax prescriptions for her despite not being a patient
A friend of Hipps told investigators that she had written him Oxycodone and Percocet prescriptions for back pain. Another person said he had been receiving Oxycodone and Fentanyl prescriptions from her since 2008 and at times when she was not employed at Caring Healthcare Network.
Hipps and Lingle were charged with felony conspiracy to acquire controlled substances, felony acquiring controlled substances and felony conspiracy to administer a controlled substance by a practitioner. Hipps was charged with three counts of felony administration of a controlled substance, and Lingle is facing one count of the same charge.
Lingle was released after posting $50,000 bail set by Clearfield County District Judge Joseph Morris, and Hipps was released from custody after the judge set her bail at $25,000 unsecured.