Dunedin scientist forged scripts to feed addiction

A Dunedin scientist has admitted counterfeiting prescriptions to fuel his painkiller addiction.

Aidin Jalilzadeh (39) pleaded guilty to a charge forgery when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning.

The charge carries a maximum term of a decade behind bars and Judge Kevin Phillips told the defendant to prepare himself for a custodial sentence when he is sentenced in April.

The court heard Jalilzadeh, who works for Landcare Research, regularly committed the fraudulent activity between February 9 and November 2 last year.

Sergeant Chris George said the man used his personal computer to format and print out pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Jalilzadeh would replicate the format of the documents, in the name of three Dunedin doctors, and printed out 31 fake scripts.

He then signed the name of the doctor to make them appear valid.

Some of the prescriptions were made out to the defendant and others were in his wife's name, the court heard.

The forgeries saw Jalilzadeh obtain the drugs Codeine, Tramadol and Diazapam.

On two occasions, he received legitimate scripts from Dunedin Public Hospital but altered them by handwriting “Codeine Phosphate” at the bottom.

Over the nine-month period, Jalilzadeh presented a total of 33 forged documents at seven different pharmacies.

At times Jalilzadeh would visit the same pharmacy twice in a week to use forged prescriptions in his or his wife's name.

The scam finally came to an end on November 2 when he visited the Urgent Pharmacy and presented a false document for Tramadol in his partner's name.

The pharmacist became suspicious and confronted him.

When police later approached Jalilzadeh, he admitted the offending and acknowledged his addiction to Codeine.

The defendant was now receiving treatment for it, the court heard.

According to his employer's website Jalilzadeh attained a PhD in mathematics from the University of Otago in 2015.

He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the wildlife ecology and management team.

The man was remanded on bail pending sentencing.

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