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Pharmacist Found Guilty of Fraud and Forgery

Media Release

29 November 2006

Bay of Plenty Pharmacist Found Guilty of Fraud and Forgery

Following an investigation by HealthPAC, a business unit of the Ministry of Health, a Mount Maunganui pharmacist has been found guilty on all charges of fraud and forgery relating to prescription items.

Heather Nancy Burton faced 58 counts of fraud and forgery relating to prescription items in the Tauranga District Court and was found guilty by a jury at the Tauranga District Court yesterday, following a three week trial.

The prescription items were paid on behalf of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

HealthPAC Group Manager, Quentin Wilson says that the detailed investigation over two years and the jury's verdicts give a strong signal to any health provider claiming government subsidies that fraud has a zero tolerance and will be vigorously pursued.

Quentin Wilson says "HealthPAC confirms its gratitude to all the health professionals who assisted in this case. They are representative of the great majority of health professionals who serve the public of New Zealand with high professional and ethical standards."

Heather Burton has been remanded on bail for sentencing on 9th February 2007.

ENDS


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