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Summit Hill woman charged in drug scam

Published April 06. 2012 05:01PM

Judith Sabol, 32, whose last known address was 113 S. Oak St., Summit Hill, faces charges from an incident which occurred on March 2, 2011 at 500 W. Bertsch St., Lansford. Charges were filed by Lansford Det./Sgt. Jack Soberick.

Sabol is charged with two counts of the controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act, and impersonating a holder of a professional or occupational license. A warrant was issued for her arrest and she was picked up on that warrant and arraigned before District judge Casimir Kosciolek on April 3 and committed to prison under $10,000 percentage bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Soberick received the case from Lehighton borough police on March 22, 2011. The victim was Kelly Toth, a licensed physician's assistant employed by Blue Mountain Health System. Toth had learned from Sabol's mother that Toth's name and licensing number had been used to call in a prescription for a non-narcotic controlled drug, Fioricet, at the Rite Aid drugstore in Lansford. Sabol allegedly was in possession of the drug.

Toth checked her records, and found the prescription was called in to be filled for a Samantha Gulla. Toth had not treated anyone by that name, nor had she called in a prescription.

Soberick interviewed Gulla and her mother, Penny Shelton. He learned that although they were several years apart in age, Sabol and Gulla were often mistaken for one another, even by friends and family. Shelton said Sabol had gotten Gulla's birth date by using the ruse of telling Shelton she was planning a birthday party for Gulla.

Further, Sabol had gone to Gulla's grandmother's house and asked for a ride from Shelton to the Rite Aid.

On April 15, 2011, Sabol came to the police station and agreed to an interview. She was read, and waived, her Miranda rights. She gave police a written statement in which she said she went to the Rite Aid to pick up medicine for a headache (the Fioricet), that had been called in under someone else's name, as she did not have insurance.

Sabol admitted to police that it was she who called in the prescription, pretending to be Toth. She said she used Gulla's name because she knew how much alike they looked and because she knew Gulla would have insurance to cover the cost of the drug. She also admitted to having used Gulla's grandmother's phone to do this.

Sabol, a former BMHS employee, used her knowledge of the system to represent herself as a person licensed and privileged to prescribe drugs; used an elaborate ruse to obtain the birth date of another person and portray herself as this person in order to pick up the drugs from the pharmacy.

In an attempt to defeat any possible trace of the phone number used to check if the prescription was ready, Sabol went so far as to use the phone at the other subject's family's home.

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