RI Hospital doc charged with drug fraud

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
An orthopedic surgeon from Rhode Island Hospital and his assistant were charged in federal court Wednesday for allegedly forging prescriptions and illegally distributing medication.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Dr. Robert Villarreal and Gary Menissian allegedly used forged prescriptions to obtain Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, and Ativan pills through a scheme at Rhode Island Hospital.

Federal prosecutors accuse Villarreal of using Rhode Island Hospital employees to fill the prescriptions at local pharmacies and return the drugs to him.

In a written statement, Rhode Island Hospital says Robert Villarreal was an orthopedic resident there from 2005 to 2010. He remained at the hospital as a Junior Attending Physician and Trauma Fellow until the end of June. He has now lost all of his hospital privileges.

More details
Read the Villarreal and Menissian affidavit here

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.