Haverhill Man to Serve Prison Term for Oxycodone Fraud

Maura Healey

Attorney General Maura Healey.

A Haverhill man pled guilty Monday and given a prison sentence in connection with prescription and credit card fraud and identity theft in a scheme to obtain and sell oxycodone tablets , an opioid drug.

Essex Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley sentenced Vincent Leo, 38, of Haverhill, to four-and-a-half to five years in state prison, with three years of probation to serve upon his release. Leo pleaded guilty in to 15 counts of identity fraud, 21 counts of uttering a false prescription, three counts of unlawful distribution of drugs, conspiracy to commit identify fraud, credit card fraud, larceny over $250 and two counts of larceny under $250.

“This defendant ran a sophisticated scheme to illegally obtain and sell oxycodone and is responsible for putting thousands of these pills on the streets,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. She said Leo’s scheme involved fraudulent prescriptions, thousands of oxycodone tablets, numerous counterfeit credit cards and compromising more than 50 identities. “The heroin and prescription drug epidemic is devastating families and communities across our state and we will continue to hold accountable those who fuel it,” Healey added.

Feeley also ordered Leo receive substance abuse evaluation and random drug testing, and ordered him to stay away from the witnesses in the case.

The attorney general’s office began an investigation in 2013 after the matter was referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who conducted an initial investigation.

From 2012 to 2014, Leo created hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions in order to obtain oxycodone tablets. Leo obtained prescription paper and used the names of physicians and the prescription authorization numbers for various providers to create fraudulent documents. He used his own phone number on those slips in case the pharmacy called, and if they did, he impersonated the physician. The investigation also revealed that Leo posed as a patient or a nurse when filling the prescriptions.

According to authorities, Leo was also involved in a credit card fraud scheme with Deana Vitale, who used a skimming device at Copperhouse Tavern, Waltham, to capture customers’ credit card information. Vitale then gave the device to Leo who used the information to create fraudulent credit cards in those customers’ names. Vitale is facing charges in Waltham District Court for her part in the scheme.

Leo was indicted by a statewide grand jury last Nov. 3. He was arraigned Dec. 4.

Shortly before taking office, Healey announced the formation of an internal AG’s task force to more aggressively combat the heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in Massachusetts.

A recent report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health estimates that more than 1,000 people died from overdoses of heroin and opioids in 2014 in Massachusetts, which is a 33 percent increase from 2012.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Cara Krysil, chief of Healey’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division with assistance from state police, Paralegal Emily Bartlett and the attorney general’s Digital Evidence Lab. The FBI, DEA, the U.S. Secret Service and Haverhill Police Department also assisted in the case.

2 thoughts on “Haverhill Man to Serve Prison Term for Oxycodone Fraud

    • Well that will NEVER happen at the Failurentini Weed Distribution Center when it opens.

      Can you imagine the “looking the away” that is going to take place by the HPD when Healthy Pharms knowingly sells product via phony prescriptions so it can be resold on the streets of Haverhill just so the mayor can make his $500K a year in drug money???