The Union Recorder

June 13, 2014

Nurse arrested for prescription fraud

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Police arrested a former hospice nurse in connection to an investigation involving fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers.

Diane Godfrey, 58, was charged with 54 felony counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances.

"Typically, when you think of a nurse, you think of an angel of their profession. In this case, it turned out to be an angel of deception," said Maj. Reginald Hill, criminal investigations commander in a press release on the arrest.  

Godfrey's arrest was the result of an investigation police conducted based on a phone call from Medical Arts Pharmacy, North Cobb Street, pertaining to several suspicious prescriptions for Lortab.

"We were contacted by Medical Arts Pharmacy of several fraudulent prescriptions brought in by Godfrey. It is not uncommon for nurses to call in prescriptions; however, in this case Ms. Godfrey was not only calling in the prescriptions but picking them up as well," Hill said.

Each prescription typically includes 60 to 90 pills, and each pill has a street value of $10 to $30, he added.

After pharmacy personnel made contact with law enforcement, Detective Kim Khan began chasing down leads for several months.  

All leads pointed to the former hospice nurse as a suspect.

"Godfrey has worked for a couple of hospice care agencies, leaving a trail of theft during her time there," Hill said.

As a result of the investigation, it was discovered that Godfrey allegedly called in numerous fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers, specifically Lortab (Hydrocodone).  

It was confirmed by personnel at the hospice care facilities that the prescriptions were forged and never prescribed to the respective patients, according to Hill.

Law enforcement attempted to locate Godfrey at her Milledgeville address in the 100 block of Vestal Circle with no success.

"Information was passed on to Detective Khan that Godfrey may be residing in the Bibb County area," said Hill. "Contact was made with U.S. Marshals who were able to located Godfrey at the Macon address given to Khan."

Godfrey was arrested without incident and is currently housed in the Baldwin County jail.

"I think it's shameful when a person uses their certifications to obtain things for their own use illegally," said Hill.

Milledgeville Police are still investigating the case and expect to have additional charges as the case develops.