Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 7, 2014

Benzonia woman accused of prescription fraud

BEULAH — A Benzonia woman faces a felony charge after authorities said she fraudulently obtained hundreds of prescription pills.

Traverse Narcotics Team officers on Thursday arrested Kristen Lynn Bennett, 38, after a probe into accusations she posed as a medical professional and called in bogus prescriptions for herself at local pharmacies. Authorities believe she illegally obtained at least 730 pills in the last two months.

Bennett appeared for arraignment today in Benzie County's 85th District Court on one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a felony punished by up to four years imprisonment.

Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson said the police report states Bennett received prescriptions at a local Shop-N-Save pharmacy.

"It looks like at this point it only happened once in Benzie County," Swanson said. "It looks like may have been multi-jurisdictional."

Tips from FBI agents and a concerned pharmacist prompted a probe, which led to a search warrant at a Four Seasons Road residence on tribal land. TNT detectives, tribal police and Benzie County sheriff's deputies seized pills and evidence of fraudulent prescriptions.

TNT Detective Lt. Daniel King said officers continue their investigation into accusations Bennett conducted similar crimes in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties.

Bennett remains in Benzie County's jail on a $50,000, 10 percent bond.

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