NVILLE, N.C. — A former physician at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Health Care Center in Greenville and one of her former patients have been charged with prescription medicine fraud, authorities said Friday.
Dr. Elizabeth McNeil Byrd, 47, of 1900 Tottenham Court in Winterville, and Brock Lauren Parrish, 29, of 7282 Allen Road in Lucama, were each charged with seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud or forgery. Both surrendered to Pitt County authorities on Wednesday; Byrd was released on a written promise to appear in court, and Parrish was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.
Pitt County deputies and agents with the VA Office of Inspector General began investigating allegations of prescription fraud at the Greenville health center in December 2013, authorities said. During the investigation, they found multiple prescriptions written by Byrd for Parrish, a veteran she was treating, that were filled outside the VA pharmacy, which isn’t standard procedure.
When questioned by VA administrators and a local pharmacist, Byrd said the prescriptions may have been stolen and forged. VA prescriptions with Byrd’s name continued to appear at local pharmacies even after she left the VA center, however, and investigators determined that she was receiving some of the narcotics from the prescriptions, authorities said.
After her arrest, Byrd voluntarily surrendered her medical license to the North Carolina Medical Board, authorities said.