Coast woman’s elaborate fraud to fuel addiction

AN office worker pretended to be her old Gold Coast school friends so she could scam prescription drugs to feed a 40 pill-a-day addiction.

Madison Sue Whale walked from court yesterday with a $2000 fine and no conviction after pleading guilty to 55 charges, including multiple counts of fraud and personation.

The 26-year-old said her addiction to the drugs started after she was hit by a car in 2016. Her offending occurred between September and December 2018.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Nillan Lynch told the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday that Whale would contact former friends from Helensvale State High School asking for a recommendation for a doctor.

Madison walked from court with a $2000 fine.
Madison walked from court with a $2000 fine.

She would then phone the doctor, make an appointment in the friend's name and at the appointment would get a prescription for high-strength painkillers such as Endone, a narcotic.

In January, the Bulletin reported that dozens of mothers and young professional women were being flagged as drug seekers because a former classmate's brazen scheme to con doctors into giving strong narcotic painkillers.

The innocent victims, including nurses, law students and breastfeeding mums, feared they would have black marks against their names and be classified as potential junkies, which they say put their futures at risk.

In court yesterday, Sgt Lynch described Whale's offending at "recidivist" and "protracted".

Magistrate Pam Dowse said in her sentencing remarks that the offending was not just a "harebrained plan".

"It was a plan you were able to execute and it fulfilled your needs and it was a little bit clever and that is of concern," she said.

Whale apologised to the court.


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"So you should be. You wrecked your life," Magistrate Dowse replied.

Magistrate Dowse said she accepted the crimes only benefited Whale.

Defence lawyer Lee Quinn said Whale "was taking up to 40 Endones in a day".

"She would take them, be upset and angry and she would actually wake up."

She apologised to the court for her actions.
She apologised to the court for her actions.

Mr Quinn said Whale was also in a toxic relationship at the time and struggled to hold down a job.

The court was told Whale had undergone drug rehabilitation in January and February this year.

Mr Quinn said she moved to Newcastle where she works as an office manager in a psychologist's office.

Whale also regularly attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Whale covered her face as she left court.