News and Press Releases

Former VA Hospital Employee Guilty Of Tampering With Medication Meant For Treating Veterans

– Replaced hydromorphone with saline

December 13, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center located in Louisville, Kentucky pleaded guilty in United States District Court this morning to charges of tampering with a consumer product affecting interstate commerce announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Stephanie M. Lang, age 34, of Indiana was charged in a July 25, 2012 federal complaint with draining hydromorphone from vials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, and filling those vials with saline between March 2, 2011 and May 20, 2011. The complaint further states that the defendant, a registered nurse tampered with the medication in reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed, in danger of bodily injury, and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to such risk. Hydromorphone is a scheduled II narcotic used as a painkiller following surgical procedures. In court, Lang admitted to injecting the painkiller into herself while at work and at home.

At sentencing, Lang faces no more than 10 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of three years’ supervised release. Lang is scheduled for sentencing before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. in United States District Court in Louisville, on April 1, 2013 at 11:00.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David R. Weiser and was investigated by the Veterans Administration Office of Inspector General.

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