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Man charged with painkiller fraud, theft

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Police in Calgary, Alberta, have charged a pharmacy worker with fraud and theft related to 15,000 missing painkiller tablets.

Constable Dan Allen told the Calgary Sun the investigation showed customers' drug plan information was used to forge prescriptions for OxyContin painkiller pills from a Shoppers Drug Mart franchise where the suspect worked as a pharmacy technician.

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"He would, in one case, find perhaps a couple who have two policies: one under perhaps the male, and one under the female, and he would then bill a portion to one of the clients and a portion to the other client, which would then raise no flags for the store," Allen told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Allen said the street value of the drugs, nicknamed "hillbilly heroin," was between $180,000 and $250,000, the Sun said.

Police urged city residents to review their benefits statements to see if they had been billed for prescriptions they hadn't received.

Ephrem Olana, 25, is charged with forgery, uttering to deal with a forged document and fraud over $5,000, and will appear in court March 25, the Sun said.

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