OAKLAND -- Getting highly addictive drugs came just as easily as grabbing breakfast and a cup of coffee for addicts who met an East Bay doctor at a number of restaurants to get illicit prescriptions, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Berkeley resident Toni Daniels, 62, was indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances and willful failure to file a tax return, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said in an indictment released Friday.
According to the indictment, from October 2010 through April 2011, Daniels, a self-employed doctor, met with customers at various restaurants in and around Oakland, including Burger King, House of Chicken and Waffles, Dick's Donuts, and Starbucks.
During the meetings, Daniels allegedly sold prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other controlled substances, in exchange for cash payments. Daniels also allegedly knew many of her customers used Medicare, Medi-Cal and other private health insurance plans that covered the cost of medications she prescribed.
As a result, between October 2010 and April 2011, Medicare and Medi-Cal paid over $64,000 in false and fraudulent claims for drugs prescribed by Daniels. Daniels made nearly $144,000 during 2010 and failed to file an income tax return for that year, according to the indictment.
Daniels was arrested Thursday night and appeared Friday morning in court. She is next scheduled in court at 9:30 a.m. on April 14. She faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for the controlled substances charge if convicted, and lesser sentences for the other charges.
Follow Katie Nelson at Twitter.com/katienelson210.