A Tyler business owner pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of fraudulent possession of a controlled substance for using forged prescriptions.
Tara Kay McSwain, 38, owner of East Texas Medical Billing and a manager at Apple Swim and Fitness, was arrested last summer and charged with nine counts of fraudulent possession of a controlled substance/prescription. On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to two counts and will be sentenced on Sept. 4 by 7th District Judge Kerry Russell. She faces probation or two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the third-degree felonies.
The state announced that it will dismiss her seven other charges under a plea agreement.
Tyler police spokesman Don Martin said earlier that the department received a call June 16, 2011, from a Walgreens employee at the store in the 5400 block of South Broadway Avenue that someone was trying to fill a fraudulent prescription for hydrocodone, a narcotic prescribed for pain relief.
“The narcotics officers were out and about that night when it occurred and they were given a description of the car, they automatically knew who they were dealing with,” Martin said. After responding to the call, narcotics officers began investigating Ms. McSwain and found what they said is evidence of six more prescription fraud cases, he said.
Tyler police previously arrested Ms. McSwain for using forged prescriptions, but no conviction was made, he said.
Sgt. Destry Walsworth, with Tyler police’s narcotics division, said earlier that Ms. McSwain’s medical billing business may be the primary source of her information.
“We believe she’s using information from her business to further prescription fraud,” he said at the time of her arrest.