A former Arizona nurse who played a role in a massive Mobile-based steroids conspiracy will not have to go to prison, a federal judge ruled last week.
Candace V. Toler, 56, admitted to writing steroids prescriptions in her ill fiancé’s name. Advisory sentencing guidelines called for a one-year prison sentence, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Dobbins asked U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade for six months’ home confinement as a reward for Toler’s cooperation.
The judge said she believed even home confinement would serve no purpose. She sentenced Toler to three years’ probation.
David A. Wilbirt, who later married Toler, also pleaded guilty in the case. He admitted that he wrote bogus prescriptions to healthy people who were looking to build muscle mass. Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile filled those prescriptions, according testimony at a trial earlier this year.
After Wilbirt suffered a stroke in February 2005, Toler acknowledged, she bought a signature stamp and continued to write prescriptions in his name at his request.
“It’s important to note that she did not instigate this conspiracy … but she did take steps to end it,” said Toler’s lawyer, Candace Kent. “I think it’s fair to say she stands in front of you embarrassed, humiliated — if not mortified.”
Kent said Toler told Wilbirt’s lawyer about his stroke, which led to a suspension of his medical license.
Dobbins praised Toler’s cooperation during the investigation and later at the trial of the Applied Pharmacy owners and pharmacists.
“Mrs. Toler was an important witness for the government, especially in light of the fact that the government did not call Dr. Wilbirt to the stand as a result of his illness,” she said.