Ex-pharmacist sentenced in $2 million fraudulent loan scheme

Amy Tingler

MORGANTOWN — A former pharmacist already serving 10 years in federal prison for illegally distributing more than 7,400 grams of oxycodone and filing a false tax return received an additional 1-10 years in prison on Thursday for forging his now ex-wife’s signature on nearly $2 million in loans.

Scott Tingler was sentenced by Judge Philip D. Gaujot of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court following the emotional courtroom testimony of Amy Tingler.

“Scott has repeatedly and intentionally engaged in illegal activities for more than a decade,” said Amy Tingler during her testimony. “Scott is an extremely calculating, deceitful man who has no problem breaking laws to benefit himself.”

Amy Tingler, herself a pharmacist, said she and her ex-husband’s three children have been “living through a total nightmare” since their family home was raided by federal agents in the early hours of August 18, 2018.

Scott Tingler was charged with conspiring with others to distribute massive amounts of oxycodone across North Central West Virginia and beyond. He pled guilty to the drugs and tax charges.

Thursday’s sentencing for the forgery charges will add to his time in prison.

Amy Tingler addressed the court and her former husband before Gaujot announced the sentencing.

“Scott needs to be held accountable for the illegal conduct he engaged in and the fraudulent behaviors he and he alone chose to perform,” she said.

She described her former husband as “a criminal and a con man.”

“Scott, you have destroyed my life and the lives of our children. We will never forget what you have done or forgive you for the extensive amount of damage you have caused,” she said.

Scott Tingler did not make eye contact with his ex-wife during his testimony as he sat handcuffed at the defense table.

Evidence proved Scott Tingler secured the loans to help keep his oxycodone operation and other business ventures functioning. Tingler owned two pharmacies, Bruceton Pharmacy in Bruceton Mills and American RX Pharmacy at the Pierpont Centre Price Cutter in Morgantown, both of which were raided by Drug Enforcement Administration agents. He also owned several area apartments.

Tingler secured his first fraudulent loan in 2007 when he falsified information to secure more than $350,000 from WesBanco bank in Wheeling in 2007. In 2014, he again fraudulently forged his wife’s signature, this time with the 1st National Bank of Pennsylvania, where he was approved for a $500,000 loan. In 2017, Tingler secured a $1.1 million loan from Citizen’s Bank, now known as Unified Bank.

All three loans occurred in the Ohio Valley region of West Virginia. All three loans were approved by the same individual lending officer, who is now a senior executive with Unified Bank.

Scott Tingler also received a $16,000 home equity line of credit in 2018 from United Federal Credit Union in Cheat Lake, again with his wife’s faked signature as co-signer after his arrest had been covered by local news media.

Scott Tingler has defaulted on those loans since his arrest and conviction. He admitted to forging his wife’s name on dozens of loan application documents.

As part of his earlier conviction, Tingler agreed to permanently surrender his pharmacist license and never seek its reinstatement. He was ordered to pay $507,942.42 in restitution to former employees and the Internal Revenue Service.

Today, he is housed at Federal Correctional Institution, Hazelton.

Scott Tingler’s attorney, Jason Wingfield, said the additional sentence Tingler received Thursday is “indeterminate, which means he has to serve a minimum of one year and after one year he becomes parole-eligible.”

“This was someone who had access to all my personal information, my Social Security number, and the answers to various questions only he would know,” said Amy Tingler. “Nobody even cared about even Googling his name. Scott said he was ‘going to take the paperwork home for my wife to sign’ and that was OK for them. He brought the paperwork back to the bank and they notarized it, even though I wasn’t there to sign it.”

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