Police arrest 38-year-old for exploiting 96-year-old man

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man faces multiple criminal charges relating to prescription fraud and exploitation of an elderly person after being arrested by Washington City Police on March 21.

According to the probable cause statement filed by Washington City Police, Gregory Leon Bowler, 38, of St. George was arrested after an investigation was conducted involving a report of prescription fraud at the Walmart pharmacy in Washington City.

The statement said police determined that a man, later identified as Bowler, had called the pharmacy on March 14 and identified himself as a local doctor, and using that doctor’s DEA number (assigned by the Drug Enforcement Administration), he ordered a prescription for hydrocodone, along with one refill. The prescription ordered was in the name of an elderly man that lives with Bowler.

The pharmacy filled the prescription, and Bowler identified himself when he purchased the drug on March 14. On March 16, the statement said, Bowler returned to the pharmacy and purchased the refill.

According to the statement, Bowler called the pharmacy on March 20 and, again posing as the same doctor, ordered a third bottle of the same drug. When Bowler arrived to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist called the doctor and found out the prescription had not been called in by him. Bowler left the pharmacy without the prescription and police were notified.

Washington City Police were able to locate Bowler and placed him under arrest for an outstanding warrant on March 21. He was charged with a second-degree felony for communications fraud, three counts of third-degree felony prescription fraud, a third-degree felony for forgery and two counts of third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance.

Bowler was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility on those charges on March 21.

Bowler was charged with several additional criminal offenses on March 28, after St. George Police discovered that Bowler was in jail, police Sgt. Sam Despain said.

According to the probable cause statement, Bowler is accused of stealing two checks from a 96-year-old man that lives with him, forging the man’s name and cashing those checks. One check was written on March 9 for $200 and the second check was written on March 17 for $150.

After being read his Miranda rights, the statement said, Bowler told police he entered the elderly man’s room on two separate days and took the checks, he signed the man’s name on them and cashed them to get money to buy prescriptions.

Bowler is charged with two counts of second-degree felony burglary, two counts of third-degree felony forgery, four counts of class-B misdemeanor theft and a third-degree felony for exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The exploitation charge was added because Bowler was in a position of trust with the elderly man, Despain said.

Total bail set for all charges at a roll call hearing held in Washington County’s 5th District Court on Monday was $117,500.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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