LAURINBURG — The State Bureau of Investigation turned the results of an investigation into allegations of prescription fraud involving the cardiology practice of Matthew Block, Laurinburg’s mayor, over to the District Attorney this week.
According to SBI spokesperson Shannon O’Toole, Block’s practice may have been involved with potentially fraudulent activity, but he could not provide details as to how Block himself may be implicated. Block owns Scotland Cardiology.
“We went ahead and looked into those allegations and provided our case file to the Scotland County district attorney’s office and they’re in the process of reviewing that,” he said.
When reached by The Laurinburg Exchange on Friday, Block denied wrongdoing.
“I have never written a fraudulent prescription nor been accused of writing one,” Block said.
He added that investigators did confirm his signature on a series of prescriptions, likely as part of a regional probe into falsification of physicians’ authorization in order to obtain prescription drugs.
“As I was given to understand by the SBI, there are approximately 20 physicians whose name and DEA number have been used by this crime ring to fraudulently obtain controlled substances,” said Block. “The physicians themselves, myself included, have not been suspected of nor accused of any wrongdoing, criminal or otherwise. The physicians are victims of this fraudulent prescription operation, not the perpetrators.”
In 2008, Block was placed on probation by the state medical board after admitting to prescribing drugs to a family member as well as to employees without keeping appropriate records. In that case, he was initially accused of writing more than 100 prescriptions to a family member and to several employees.
Block was elected mayor in November after previously serving in the office from 2007-2011.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.