BOSTON (CBS) — A Framingham pharmacy linked to a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak used dozens of fake names like “Bud Weiser,” “Jennifer Lopez” and “Filet O’fish” on prescriptions to defraud the federal government and avoid regulations, officials allege.
Fourteen people who worked at the New England Compounding Center were charged for their alleged role in the outbreak on Wednesday. Tainted steroids manufactured by the pharmacy were blamed for a 2012 outbreak that killed 64 people, and sickened hundreds more.
“Harry Potter,” “Baby Jesus” and “Chester Cheeto” were just some of the fake names used, according to investigators.
“All names must resemble ‘real’ names… no obviously false names!” an email from co-founder Barry Cadden in May 2012 reads, according to the indictment.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement that NECC “routinely dispensed drugs in bulk without valid prescriptions.”
“It was further part of the conspiracy that defendants Cadden, Carter and Stepanets used and caused others to use the names of celebrities, fictional characters, doctors and medical staff to create fraudulent prescriptions for drugs,” the indictment read.
Other fake and sometimes misspelled names on the list included Cyndi Lopler, Alex Baldwin, Diana Ross, Chris Rock, Fat Albert, Wonder Woman, Freddy Mercury, Silver Surfer, Dick Van Dike.
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