Dr. Mark Mouritsen was arrested yesterday and charged with 17 counts of obtaining narcotic prescriptions by fraud. Mouritsen's wife, Carolyn, was charged with 17 counts of obtaining prescriptions by fraud, 11 counts of forgery and an unspecified amount of charges of attempting to obtain prescriptions by fraud.
Mouritsen and his wife have been under investigation since October, Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said.
"We received information that there may be some issue with Dr. Mouritsen's office and the manner in which scheduled narcotic drugs were being dispensed," Gartner said. "We've been looking at records, interviewing many different people, and the essence of the charges have to do with how the drugs were obtained. They weren't obtained within what we consider to be the law"
Narcotics detectives and officers served simultaneous search warrants on Mouritsen's office and home. Police seized an undisclosed amount of narcotics, documents and computers.
Gartner said he believes they have evidence to show that Mouritsen and his wife employed illegal tactics to obtain prescription narcotics such as painkillers and muscle relaxants.
"We believe they were giving prescriptions and receiving a portion of the narcotics back," Gartner said. "His wife had called in numerous prescriptions for painkillers and in some instances was receiving some of those painkillers back to herself."
"I found records to indicate that there were drugs coming from the office," Payson Police Det. John Huffman said. "There was a prescription sign-out log and there was also evidence that prescriptions were given to people who weren't actually patients."
Gartner said there was no evidence that the Mouritsens were intending to profit from narcotics sales.
Gartner said part of the reason for serving the warrants was that Mouritsen was closing his practice.
"We understand that he was closing his office at the end of the month," Gartner said. "We still have a lot of work to do in the investigation, and they are innocent until proven guilty."
The Mouritsens remain in Gila County jail in lieu of $50,000 bonds each.