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Attorney General Wilson announces Horry Co. nurse pleads guilty to illegally possessing prescription drugs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 16, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that an Horry County nurse pleaded guilty Thursday to illegal possession of prescription drugs. Carrie Ann Matarese, 41, of Galivants Ferry, SC, pleaded guilty on July 15th in Horry County General Sessions Court to three counts of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (44-53-370 (c) (d) (1)). Matarese was sentenced to 90 days in jail suspended, and she was placed on probation for one year.


This case was referred to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The agencies conducted a joint investigation that revealed that between February 22nd and 23rd of 2020, while employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Compass Post Acute Rehab Center in Conway, Matarese obtained controlled substances (medications) prescribed to the residents under her care. Matarese unlawfully possessed these medications in a manner that was for her personal use and not that of the residents. There was no evidence that any residents were not given medications as prescribed.


The SCMFCU prosecuted this case under its patient abuse jurisdiction, which covers abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals residing in assisted living or nursing home facilities. This case was investigated by DHEC Investigator Derek Strickland and SCMFCU Assistant Chief Investigator Jamie Seales.


The South Carolina MFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $1,478,492 for Federal fiscal year 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $492,826 for FY 2021, is funded by South Carolina.