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July 2, 2015 -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Joseph Russo (DOB 12/26/65) of 301 State Route 6, Patterson, New York was arraigned today on an 18-count indictment charging him with:

  • Eighteen counts Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, class “D” Felonies.

Between March 24, 2011 and March 16, 2012, the defendant, a former Mount Vernon police officer, possessed numerous unauthorized prescriptions bearing the forged signature of a physician falsely listing the defendant or the defendant’s wife as the patient.

The defendant then submitted the forged prescriptions at 5 different pharmacies in Mount Vernon in order to obtain at least 1,470 Hydrocodone pills.

The defendant submitted a total of 18 forged prescriptions and received 31 refills from these prescriptions.  These forged prescriptions listed the defendant or his wife as the patient.

The defendant partially paid for these pills by filing false claims with his medical insurance provider, United Health Group.

In doing so, the defendant defrauded the pharmacists at each pharmacy location, his medical insurance provider, as well as the doctor whose prescription pads he stole.

The fraud came to light when the insurer, Express Scripts, became suspicious and contacted police.

The defendant surrendered to Mount Vernon police today for arraignment.

He was released on his own recognizance.

The defendant’s next court date is Aug. 6, 2015.

He faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Stephen Ronco of the Public Integrity Bureau are prosecuting the case.


Joseph Russo

Joseph Russo


In compliance with Disciplinary Rule 7-107A of the Code of Professional Responsibility, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.