July 20th, 2024

Woman gets house arrest for impersonating coworker in order to buy Tylenol from pharmacist

By Peggy Revell on July 13, 2017.


prevell@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNprevell

A sentence of six months house arrest was handed down Wednesday to a Medicine Hat for impersonating a coworker to access pain relief drugs.

Wendy Lee Haag pled guilty at the Medicine Hat Courthouse to identity fraud and will also be on probation for a year after serving her conditional sentence order.

Haag suffered from spinal injuries following a 2007 car accident, the court heard from local paralegal Ken Montgomery. In dealing with this pain, Haag found that Tylenol 3 was too strong, but spreading out Tylenol 1 would help her “survive the day.”

Tylenol 1 is available without prescription over the counter from a pharmacist, but a person is limited to only 100 tablets per month, the court heard. Haag resorted to posing as a coworker to circumvent this limit.

Haag did this for more than a year, with 13 fill dates where she impersonated the coworker.

“I think she has been dragged into this by mishap,” Judge Darwin Greaves said during sentencing, making observations on how people become addicted to drugs.

“Most of the middle class addiction comes through prescribed drugs,” Greaves said, calling it a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for pain relief.

That Haag paid for the drugs, nor deprived another person their medication “cuts her out of a lot of the serious aspects” of the charge, said Greaves, but he also stressed that her actions threaten the “trust and generosity of the system” when it comes to dispensing medication.

Haag has no criminal record.

The Crown’s recommended sentence was three months jail, to be served intermittently. Greaves felt a longer period of house arrest — with exceptions for work — was more suitable.

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