SD Doctor, Wife Admit to Writing Fake Prescriptions

A San Diego dermatologist and his wife admitted to writing fraudulent prescriptions on 39 occasions to obtain controlled substances.

Dr. Matthew Cole and his wife, Shireen Cole, both 37, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to acquire controlled substances by fraud, deception and subterfuge.

Federal prosecutors said the couple conspired to obtain Percocet, Xanax and Ambien from pharmacies by writing fake prescriptions.

Matthew Cole, who has offices in San Diego and National City, wrote prescriptions to the names of friends with whom he had no doctor-patient relationship and also wrote prescriptions for his wife using her maiden name, prosecutors said.

On one occasion, Matthew Cole admitted to writing a prescription for 60 10-mg tablets of Oxycodone in the name of a female college friend. His wife then went to a CVS pharmacy to fill the prescription, prosecutors said.

Matthew Cole went so far as to create a fake medical file for his old college friend to create the appearance she was his patient.
In total, prosecutors said the Coles acquired 1,820 tablets of drugs, 1,280 of which were oxycodone and the others were Ambien and Xanax.

The defendants said in court on Tuesday that they are both in drug treatment programs.

The Coles face a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

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