Clarion Man Who Forged Doctor’s Name on Prescription Sentenced to Probation
Clarion County President Judge James G. Arner sentenced 76-year-old James Ralph Rhoades, of Clarion, on Wednesday, September 11, to two years of probation on a misdemeanor count of counterfeiting or simulating a mark or stamp.
He was also ordered to perform 25 hours of community service.
Court documents indicate Rhoades pleaded guilty to the above charge on August 14, 2019.
As a result of the plea agreement, one second-degree felony count of forgery was dismissed.
The charges stem from an incident that happened on December 27, 2018, at Clarion Walmart Pharmacy.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, around 2:30 p.m. on December 27, James Ralph Rhoades went to Clarion Walmart Pharmacy to refill a known Strattanville woman’s prescription medication. The document was not signed by the known New Bethlehem doctor, so Rhoades allegedly forged the doctor’s signature on the refill prescription document.
The complaint states that the pharmacy knew the signature was forged and called PSP Clarion for an investigation.
Rhoades was interviewed around 7:30 p.m. on December 27 at his residence. When questioned if he was at Walmart earlier in the day, he related that he was not. When questioned the second time, he stated that he was, the complaint states.
When questioned about the forged prescription, he allegedly said he did sign as the doctor. He stated that his friend needed the prescription filled that day and didn’t want to wait.
He also stated that when he went the first time to present the unsigned document to the pharmacy, the pharmacy would not refill it, so he went to his truck and signed the refill. He later returned to the pharmacy with the prescription, and the pharmacy employee said it was a fake signature, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, an official letter was sent to Clarion Walmart Pharmacy and state police stating that the signature that was made on the prescription refill document was not made by the New Bethlehem doctor.
The prescription medication was for Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen 5-325 MG oral table (quantity 90), Schedule II.
Rhoades was arraigned at 12:06 p.m. on March 1 in Judge Schill’s office.
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