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San Diego Pharmacy Group Suspends Accused Workers
Date:3/7/2008

Company was Victim of Rogue Employees and will Cooperate with

Investigators, Attorney Says

SAN DIEGO, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The family owners of three San Diego-based pharmacies have suspended three rogue employees arrested Thursday for alleged illegal distribution of controlled substances, according to Michael Lipman, the attorney representing the family owned business.

"The Atiya family was shocked by the accusations. As the owners of one of California's largest privately held pharmacy groups they have worked hard to ensure that their staff has always followed the law and they are distressed that their trust in these employees may have been misplaced," said Lipman, a partner at Coughlan, Semmer & Lipman.

Lipman said the owners knew nothing about the alleged illegal activity by dishonest employees.

"My clients will cooperate fully with the government's investigation. If the authorities determine laws were broken, then the Atiya family was a victim of these crimes," Lipman said.

The Atiya family has been in the pharmacy business in San Diego since 1995 and operates three pharmacies -- Galloway Pharmacy, White Cross Pharmacy and Park Boulevard Pharmacy -- each of which does extensive countywide business and in some cases throughout California.

The pharmacies are a vital source of life-sustaining drugs and other health aids for many senior citizens, families, HIV-AIDS patients and others requiring specialized medical care. All three are continuing to serve their customers.

Lipman noted that sales of prescribed controlled substances represent a small fraction of the pharmacies' business.

"No business can fully protect itself from a dishonest employee," said Lipman. "The Atiya family are responsible business owners and they are reexamining their control systems to make sure they have the best possible approach to preventing abuses."


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SOURCE Michael Lipman
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