A Corona doctor given “the chance of a lifetime” in 2011 when she was sentenced to only a year in jail and five years probation for 274 felonies related to prescription fraud could be headed back to jail for a much longer time.
Lisa Michele Barden pleaded guilty Tuesday, July 10, to using the name of another person to obtain goods or services without permission — she impersonated another doctor to phone in a prescription in May. That action violated her probation, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios J. Hernandez ruled.
Hernandez did not sentence Barden, 42. Instead, he asked that a probation report be written and that attorneys return to court Aug. 24.
District attorney spokesman John Hall said his office would ask Hernandez to impose the suspended sentence of seven years, eight months that Barden received in the first case.
“The defendant was given a chance — the chance of a lifetime,” Deputy District Attorney Sara Stockwell wrote in a memo for Tuesday’s hearing, noting the suspended sentence.
Barden’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jason Kralovic, declined to comment outside court Tuesday. Inside court, he asked Hernandez to have Barden evaluated for participation in a drug-treatment program.
Authorities believe that Barden, a gynecologist, obtained more than 30,000 Vicodin painkillers for her personal use over the course of 22 months, using the identities of nine patients and the stolen prescription pads of five doctors before being arrested in 2007.
Hall said his office does not believe Barden sold any of the pills.
Barden pleaded guilty to 274 felony charges of identity theft, burglary, forging a prescription and possession of a controlled substance. She was convicted of felony worker’s compensation fraud and a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report.
Barden was serving the balance of her 360-day sentence on weekends when she committed the same crime: She called in a prescription for Coreg (for heart failure), Ultram (a painkiller) and Soma (a muscle relaxant) for her husband, Darrell Degner, using the name of Dr. Robyn Jacoby, Stockwell wrote.
Barden paid for the prescription in person at Main Street Pharmacy in Corona with a check in her name. Pharmacist Amie Padilla became suspicious and called Jacoby. Barden was arrested during a probation check.
Degner told police he destroyed the pills when he learned what his wife had done.
Barden’s one-year sentences for most of the crimes ran concurrently instead of consecutively because the crimes were largely part of the same act, Presiding Judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth had explained previously.
The state has revoked Barden’s license to practice medicine. Barden remains in custody. Bail is $100,000.
BY BRIAN ROKOS
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