Monday, December 11, 2023

Yorktown dental office manager convicted of hydrocodone Rx fraud

A dental office manager from Yorktown faces up to 10 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining more than 100,000 hydrocodone pills.

Donna Byrd Talley, 54, was convicted by a federal jury in Newport News Tuesday on charges of mail fraud, obtaining a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to a release from the Office of U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente. Hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is found in drugs such as Vicodin.

Richard Colgan, a federal public defender who represents Talley, declined to comment.

As a long-time officer manager for Dr. Steven Becker, a Hampton dentist, Talley controlled her employer’s bank accounts and ran the office, the release said. Between 2002 and 2011, she used Becker’s Drug Enforcement Administration license to get more than 100,000 hydrocodone pills from dental supply companies.

She used some of the pills for her own addiction, gave some to her husband and distributed pills to others.

In 2011, she made cash deposits of more than $7,000 into bank accounts she controlled.

When questioned by investigators from the Virginia Department of Health Professions and the Virginia State Police on Aug. 18, 2011, she admitted that she had ordered hydrocodone. At her home that day, an investigator found a bottle of hydrocodone pills that matched shipments she had ordered, and Becker’s office had received two days before the interview.

The verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.

Talley will be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2017.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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