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Press Release

Former Clinical Care Technician Charged with Stealing Pain Medication from Patients in Intensive Care

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

BOSTON – A former clinical care technician at Tufts New England Medical Center was charged yesterday with stealing pain medication from patients in intensive care.

Michelle R. Tomlinson, 29, of Somerville, was charged in an Information with acquiring and obtaining a controlled substance by deception and subterfuge.

According to the charging document, on Jan. 1, 2014, Tomlinson, who worked as a clinical care technician at Tufts New England Medical Center, diverted Dilaudid, also known as hydromorphone, from IV bags.  Specifically, it is alleged that Tomlinson entered the rooms of three patients in the surgical intensive care unit under false pretenses and surreptitiously extracted Dilaudid from their IV bags through a syringe.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than four years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Jeffrey Ebersole, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations; and Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Food and Drugs, Drug Control Program, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maxim Grinberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Updated April 24, 2015