PALM SPRINGS — A doctor from Rancho Cucamonga pleaded guilty today to 274 felony counts alleging she forged prescriptions and adopted patients’ identities to obtain prescription drugs.
Despite Lisa Michelle Barden’s guilty pleas in Palm Springs Superior Court, a jury trial is still scheduled in her case because she kept in place not guilty pleas for two criminal counts.
A trial for the two counts — insurance fraud and filing a false police report — is scheduled for Dec. 28.
Sentencing for the crimes Barden pleaded guilty to this afternoon will come after the trial, said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors accused Barden, a 41-year-old doctor of osteopathic medicine, of using other doctors’ names to write prescriptions for patients whose identities she adopted to purchase painkillers such as Vicodin and promethazine.
Barden illegally obtained such drugs 131 times at 43 different pharmacies — most in the Coachella Valley — between February 2007 and December 2008, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant.
In the course of Barden’s scheme, she used the identities of five doctors and 15 patients, according to the declaration.
Barden was accused of gathering the doctors’ and patients’ personal information while she worked for six months as a doctor’s assistant at a Palm Springs medical office.
She was fired from that job in May 2007 for patient abandonment, according to the declaration.
Barden was arrested in January 2009 at her home in the 10500 block of Boulder Canyon Road in Rancho Cucamonga.
The crimes Barden pleaded guilty to today include burglary, possessing controlled substances, forging prescriptions and identity theft.