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Prescription Fraud Case Continued for a Year

Last March, Fairfax County police charged a Centreville woman with 10 counts of manufacturing false prescriptions. She is Marie Mulholland, 46, of Fairfax National Estates.

The grand jury later indicted her on all these charges and, on Oct. 18, 2005, she pleaded guilty. However, when she returned to Circuit Court on Jan. 11, Judge Jonathan Thacher deferred her sentencing for a year.

According to police, on Dec. 17, 2004 and Jan. 27, 2005, Mulholland's doctor gave her two prescriptions for a particular narcotic to ease her back pain. But she then filled copies of them at several area pharmacies before the pharmacists realized they were phony.

After speaking with the pharmacists in February 2005, police then obtained a search warrant for Mulholland's home and, on March 1, they seized a combination of full and empty pill bottles. That same day, Mulholland was arrested.

The case slowly made its way through the court system and, on Jan. 11, Thacher ruled that it would be continued for a year, to be dropped on Jan. 11, 2007, if Mulholland has no further violations of law. He did so subsequent to a plea agreement between defense attorney Bill Reichhardt and the prosecution.

Reichhardt said the agreement acknowledged the fact that his client is a chronic-pain patient and has been receiving treatment. She had no prior criminal record, and her attorney characterized the whole incident as "an extremely sad situation of a person who's suffered for many years with serious pain."

<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs