A Miami woman with a habit of posing as different doctors to fill prescriptions for her insomnia has been arrested again, court records show.
Helen Joanna Chirino, 41, surrendered at the Broward County Jail Thursday and was charged with obtaining prescription medication through fraud and using the identity of a person without their consent. She was released from jail Friday on a $4,000 bond, records show.
It’s not the first time.
Arrest records indicate, Chirino obtained the National Provider Identifier code number that her former Miami Lakes psychiatrist uses to phone in prescriptions to pharmacies.
Chirino called in fraudulent prescriptions to pharmacies in Broward and Miami-Dade counties then purchased them, police said.
In February, a pharmacist at a CVS inside a Target store in Sunrise became suspicious and called the doctor’s office to verify the prescriptions. The doctor’s office manager confirmed the prescriptions were fake.
The pharmacist called police, identified Chirino in a photo line-up and surveillance video also showed Chirino picking up prescriptions at that CVS pharmacy on two occasions, the report stated.
The doctor told police Chirino had been a patient for about six years but was no longer her patient.
A detective said Chirino admitted to filling the fraudulent prescriptions at the CVS because she had a sleeping disorder back then and it was difficult for her to stop taking the pills.
In November 2021, records show she was arrested in Miami-Dade and transferred to the Broward County Jail to face 11 charges including prescription forgery and fraud.
In January 2020, Chirino was arrested at a CVS pharmacy in Pembroke Pines. She was trying to pick up Ambien sleeping medication by using another doctor’s prescription code number that she claimed she found online, police said.
In December 2019, Chirino was arrested at a Walgreens in Pembroke Pines. The pharmacist called police when he couldn’t verify prescriptions for Ambien and Restoril for insomnia. Again, she claimed she found the doctors’ prescription code numbers on the internet, the reports stated.
In each case, the doctors said they had been the victim of prescription fraud several times.
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