A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Nurse For Stealing Narcotics From Nursing Home
RN Terri Stephens-Traverse Charged With Stealing Oxycodone Pills For Personal Use
Schneiderman: My Office Will Prosecute Medical Professionals Who Steal from Patients and Compromise the Care They Receive
PEARL RIVER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Terri Stephens-Traverse for allegedly stealing several pills containing oxycodone from an Orange County nursing facility’s emergency pain medication supply. Stephens-Traverse was formerly employed at Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center located in Campbell Hall, a hamlet in the Town of Hamptonburgh in Orange County.
“Resident safety is jeopardized when those responsible for their care are under the influence of dangerous narcotics,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Opioid medications are highly addictive, and they must be closely monitored. My office will continue to prosecute unscrupulous medical professionals who steal patient medication and compromise the care they receive.”
On six separate occasions between January 23, 2013 and February 2, 2013, Stephens-Traverse, while working as a supervising nurse, allegedly stole powerful pain medication containing the narcotic oxycodone from an emergency supply kept on hand by the Center to fill new pain medication prescriptions for its residents. To conceal her theft, Stephens-Traverse allegedly falsified Center records and forged the signatures of assigned medication nurses, to indicate that the medications were administered to residents in her care when, in fact, she kept the pills for personal use.
Stephens-Traverse, 46, was charged in Hamptonburgh Town Justice Court with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a class E felony), Forgery in the Third Degree (a class A misdemeanor), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (a class A misdemeanor) and Petit Larceny (a class A misdemeanor). Class E felonies carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison, while class A misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
Stephens-Traverse, of Inverness, Florida, was arraigned before Judge Edward Souto and released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court on May 27, 2015.
The charges brought today are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The case was investigated by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Senior Investigator Frank Bluszcz with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Susan Bloom of the MFCU Pearl River Regional Office with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Thomas O’Hanlon is the Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. The MFCU is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.