McSwain pleads guilty to prescription fraud
POSTED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 6:53am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 6:58am
TYLER — A former Tyler fitness center operator has pleaded guilty to two charges of prescription fraud. The sentencing hearing for Tara McSwain is set for 9:00am on September 4 in Smith County's 7th State District Court. According to a spokesman for the district attorney's office, each charge carries a punishment range of two to ten years. McSwain, 38, is the former owner/manager of East Texas Billing and former manager of Apple Swim & Fitness Center. She initially faced nine counts of fraudulent possession of a controlled substance, a 3rd degree felony.
On June 16, 2011, an employee of Walgreens at 5415 South Broadway called police and said there was a woman in the drive-thru attempting to pick up a fraudulent prescription for hydrocodone. Patrol officers and vice investigators arrived on the scene and took McSwain into custody after further investigation. Investigators say they found several pieces of paper with physicians' and patients' names on them in McSwain's purse. Police say the materials were discovered during the search incident to arrest and were believed to be used in a fraudulent manner. Police say because of her billing service for physicians, McSwain had access to doctor and patient information.
After investigators contacted several physicians and former patients, they say they developed probable cause that on six different occasions in 2011, McSwain provided fraudulent information to obtain a controlled substance from pharmacies in Tyler. On June 23, 2011, investigators arrested McSwain on six warrants for fraudulent possession of a controlled substance. Pending sentencing, she remains free on a bond of $20,000 on each case.