WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBS 2/ 1010 WINS/WCBS 880) – There is a heath scare on Long Island.
Police on Wednesday said a woman became sick after ingesting a pill from a bottle that had been tampered with and there may be more bad medicine out there.
It appears run of the mill over-the-counter medicines have been used in a scam, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
Nassau County Police said 43-year-old Rabin Prunsrian traded expensive over-the-counter medicines from CVS stores, inserted expired meds into the packages and then resealed the packages for a full refund.
“He was resealing the cardboard packaging that the plastic bottles came in,” Detective Sgt. Dennis Ude said.
Ude displayed a sample of the take and told of how a 72-year-old woman was sickened after she bought a tampered package of meds thinking it was a fish oil supplement but got a male vitamin instead.
“I think it’s ridiculous. People can get very sick from the wrong medications, thinking it’s the right medications,” Woodmere resident Rose Scognamillo said.
“Pretty disgusting, that someone would do thing like that,” resident Seymour Levy added.
Substituting the expired medication into the new packaging required some skill, investigators said. The suspect had to reseal the packages in an undetectable way.
“I check, but if this happens, it could happen to anybody,” Scognamillo said.
A statement from CVS said: “We continue to cooperate closely with the authorities in this matter. Customers who believe they may have purchased a product that was altered can return it to CVS for full refund.”
It’s a growing loss for CVS, which estimated it has already lost $8,000 in the fraudulent refunds.
Meanwhile, Prunsrian is facing felony charges of grand larceny and fraud, accused of not only scamming CVS with bad drugs, but allegedly selling the good drugs on eBay.
The Nassau County District Attorney has set up a public health hotline for anyone who believes they may have purchased bad over-the-counter meds — 516-870-2802.
“This was not only a financial fraud that netted him thousands and thousands of dollars but he endangered potential consumers who were purchasing his returned goods,” DA Kathleen Rice told 1010 WINS.