A physician who once practiced medicine in Bradley County and a woman he is alleged to have been romantically involved with have been charged in what the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force is calling a significantly large prescription drug fraud conspiracy.

Dr. Arthur Nieto, Jr., 65, of Helena, and Amanda Hoover, 30, of Monticello, have both been charged with 53 counts of prescription drug fraud following a 7-month investigation into allegations that Nieto was calling in an unusually large number of prescriptions for Hoover in the names of her family members. The alleged crimes are said to have occurred in Drew County.

“…Nieto would actually come to the pharmacy and pick the prescriptions up himself, which is a highly unusual practice for physicians,” Lt. Jason Akers’ wrote in his case summary.

According to the summary, Hoover confessed in a March 21, 2012 interview that she had used her family members’ names to obtain prescription narcotics.

“Hoover stated that she had asked Arthur Nieto in the past to prescribe her more narcotics because what he was giving her was not enough and she was going through the pills too quick,” Akers wrote in the summary. “Hoover stated that Nieto told her he couldn’t give her any more because he would get in trouble but that he could call them in to pharmacies in other people’s names.”

Nieto, an obstetrician and gynecologist who most recently practiced in Helena, appeared Monday in Drew County Circuit Court where Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson told Nieto and Hoover they would both have to post a $20,000 bond and had until Friday to do so.