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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dental assistant accused of forging prescriptions for herself

Abigail Mateo
Abigail Mateo

An employee at a Leesburg dental practice was arrested after she reportedly forged a dentist’s signature to obtain prescription painkillers.

Abigail Mateo, 34, of Belleview, was arrested Tuesday and charged with uttering a forged instrument and two counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, forgery, or misrepresentation. Mateo is a dental assistant at Leesburg Smiles General and Family Dentistry, located at 8305 County Road 44 Leg A.

A dentist at the practice told a Lake County sheriff’s deputy that on July 13, Mateo asked her for a prescription for her husband, who had a broken tooth and was in pain. The dentist said she told Mateo to put in prescriptions for 800mg of ibuprofen and 500mg of amoxicillin, an antibiotic, until she could see him at the office, according to the sheriff’s office arrest report.

The dentist said she checked Tuesday to see what prescriptions were ordered and she noticed Mateo had ordered medications and prescribed them to herself. The prescriptions were Percocet 5/525mg on July 13 and Norco on June 27, the report said.

The dentist explained she did not authorize Mateo to order those prescriptions under her name. Furthermore, she said Mateo ordered more than the authorized limit by taking 16 tablets instead of six, and she believed her signature was forged because those prescriptions cannot be called in and were sent electronically, which requires a signature, according to the report.

The deputy then spoke with Mateo, who was hesitant to say who gave her permission to order the medication and said she didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. When asked why she ordered the medication, Mateo said it was because of an incident that happened on vacation, the report said.

The deputy told Mateo he knew the medication was ordered prior to her vacation, and Mateo changed her statement. She said she had ulcers in her stomach and that she had fallen, according to the report.

Due to the statements and evidence, the New York native was placed under arrest and taken to the Lake County Jail. She was released on $6,000 bond.

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