For more than 10 years, Kim Thien Le handed out scads of prescriptions as a pharmacist at a handful of Walgreens stores in the Bay Area—nearly 750,000 scripts when all was said and done, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra noted Tuesday. The problem, per the AG's statement: Le wasn't actually a pharmacist. The Mercury News reports Le is now facing three felony charges for identity theft, false impersonation, and obtaining money, labor, or property by false pretenses after the AG's office said she falsely served as a pharmacist for the retailer from 2006 until 2017, in stores in Milpitas, San Jose, and Fremont. She dispensed hundreds of thousands of prescriptions during that time, including for "highly regulated controlled substances, including prescription opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine," per Becerra.
Le allegedly wormed her way into the pharmacist's job by using the license numbers of registered pharmacists. Walgreens wasn't able to say if her license paperwork was "requested or reviewed" before she was hired, Becerra says. Investigators note they also weren't able to confirm the pharmacy degree she claimed to have from Creighton University. When she was confronted by investigators on some of her alleged untruths, she said, "Me and my son would be very grateful if you could just forget about this," the California Board of Pharmacy quoted her as saying, per a January CBS San Francisco report. She added, per the Mercury News: "I will pay whatever fine [and will] not be coming back to work as a pharmacist." Le turned herself in on Friday and was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail; it's not clear if she has an attorney. (Read more Walgreens stories.)