An Atlanta man accused of impersonating a DEA agent pleaded guilty to charges related to a prescription fraud scheme Thursday.
Jason Elledge, 40, pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal officer, making false statements to law enforcement, and attempting to obtain fraudulent prescriptions.
“He used the doctors’ identities to call in fraudulent prescriptions and then, by pretending to be a (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent, extracted information from the doctors that he then used to avoid detection by law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.
From January to November 2013, Elledge targeted Atlanta-area doctors and used their identities to call in prescriptions to local pharmacies using various aliases as patient names, authorities said. The prescriptions typically consisted of Schedule III controlled substances and other non-narcotic drugs to avoid suspicion, Yates said.
Then Elledge contacted the doctors’ offices that he had targeted claiming to be DEA agent ‘Alan Velez’ or ‘Jason McDonald,’ authorities said. He told the doctors that unknown individuals were using their identities to call in fraudulent prescriptions to local pharmacies.
Elledge claimed that he was investigating the fraud and told the doctors to contact him whenever the local pharmacies called with suspicions of fraudulent prescriptions, according to the news release. He claimed he could then send DEA agents to the pharmacies to arrest the individuals who arrived to pick up the fraudulent prescriptions.
In reality, whenever the doctors’ offices called to inform Elledge that the pharmacy had called to verify the prescription, he knew not to go to that pharmacy to pick up that prescription because the pharmacy knew the prescription was fraudulent.
Elledge was confronted by DEA agents while trying to pick up a fraudulent prescription at the Atlantic Station Target pharmacy on Nov. 7, 2013.
A sentencing hearing for Elledge is scheduled for Sept. 4.
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