A New Jersey woman who posed as a doctor, treated patients and prescribed medications has been arrested, prosecutors in Ocean County said Thursday.
Toms River resident Maria F. Macburnie, 62, also known as Marife L. Macburnie, was charged with practicing medicine without a license, forgery, health care fraud, and distributing a dangerous substance, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege Macburnie assumed the identity of a relative who they said is licensed to practice. The relative could not not be reached for comment, as online information about her appears to lead to a medical office authorities said Macburnie used.
"The office is permanently closed," the automated phone greeting for Shore Medical Associates states.
Prosecutors said Macburnie had been using the relative's name from March 2022 to June 2023.
The prosecutor's office said Macburnie issued multiple prescriptions under the relative's name, and submitted insurance claims and bills for services during times when the relative "was unable to see and treat patients."
Prosecutors did not specify any medications she allegedly prescribed. Macburnie was arrested Wednesday, the prosecutor's office said.
She was booked into an Ocean County Department of Corrections facility, the office said. It wasn’t clear if she has been released, and it wasn’t clear if she has legal counsel.
The local public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors asked that anyone who was seen or treated by Macburnie reach out.
Patients of the Toms River office allegedly used by Macburnie are told in its automated phone greeting to send an email to request their medical records.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, economic crimes unit of the prosecutor's office and Toms River Township Police Department helped in the investigation, the prosecutor's office said.
Toms River, a township on the Jersey Shore, is nearly 60 miles east of Philadelphia.