News Story


Los Angeles Man Arrested for Ventura County Prescription Forgery
9/3/2015 1:50:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Los Angeles Man Arrested for Ventura County Prescription Forgery

Report Number:



Newbury Park, CA

Date & Time:

August 27, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit


(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(S) Michael Shapiro


Los Angeles



On August 27, 2015, the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit concluded a forged prescription investigation with the arrest of Michael Shapiro.


During the second week of August 2015, Investigators from the PCU were notified of possible criminal activity at a Newbury Park pharmacy.  Investigators learned Michael Shapiro was attempting to fill a forged prescription for controlled substances.


Detectives followed up on the information and learned Michael Shapiro had passed 160 forged prescriptions in the past year for Norco (hydrocodone), Xanax (alprazolam), Ritalin.  (methylphenidate), and Ambien (Zolpidem Tartrate). 


Search warrants were written and served at two locations in Los Angeles County where Michael Shapiro was living.  Hundreds of blank and pre-filled out fraudulent prescriptions, as well as illegally obtained prescription drugs, were seized.  Evidence was also recovered indicating Shapiro was manufacturing the prescription forms from his home.  


The investigation revealed Shapiro had extensive knowledge regarding prescription drugs as he had graduated from Yale medical school, but never obtained licensure as a physician.


Shapiro was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail for forging prescriptions and commercial burglary.  He is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on September 10, 2015.


The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force comprised of members from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police Department, Thousand Oaks Police Department, the District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol, and the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation. The primary mission of the task force is combating the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. 



Prepared by:

Sergeant Victor Fazio



News Release Date:

September 4, 2015


Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Robert Davidson

(805) 947-8705



Approved by:

Captain Melissa Smith