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Press Release

Former Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Ann Arbor VA Hospital Sentenced to 3-Years’ Probation on Drug Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT - Former Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Elizabeth Prophitt, age 39, of Saline, was sentenced today to 3-years’ probation for stealing controlled substances, including several opioids, from hospital dispensing machines, announced Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin.

Joining Mohsin in the announcement were Gavin McClaren, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Veteran’s Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Central Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, DEA, Detroit Division.

Prophitt, was sentenced by U.S District Court Judge Robert H. Cleland after pleading guilty to five counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, misrepresentation or deceit. She used her position as a surgical nurse to steal more than 2,000 vials of Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances, which included fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine and midazolam. Prophitt would use protected patient information and falsify medical documents to obtain the controlled substances. Instead of using the medication on the purported patients, she diverted the drugs for her own personal use. At times, on days when she was unscheduled to work or after normal working hours, she would access the hospital and steal the vials directly from the hospital dispensing systems.

Acting United States Attorney Mohsin stated, “In order to protect the health and safety of our citizens, we take crimes like this seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute health care workers whose theft of drugs put patients in harm’s way.”

“We will not tolerate medical professionals stealing controlled substances intended for the care of our nation’s veterans,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Gavin McClaren of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Central Field Office.    

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandy R. McMillion.  McMillion serves as the District’s Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Prosecutor as well as the Deputy-Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit. The Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit is a Department of Justice initiative designating twelve special prosecutors across the country to focus on prosecuting medical professionals that are contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis. The case was investigated by special agents of the Department of Veteran Affairs – Office of Inspector General and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Updated November 18, 2021