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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 5, 2015

East Greenbush Nurse Indicted, Accused Of Obtaining Controlled Substance From Hospital Syringes

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Nathan Baum, age 30, of East Greenbush, New York, was indicted on September 30, 2015 for tampering with a consumer product and obtaining controlled substances by deception and subterfuge, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey G. Hughes of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations.

The Indictment alleges that Baum, as a licensed practical nurse working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center hospice ward, in Albany, improperly accessed syringes that contained oxycodone hydrochloride. Between April 8, 2014 and May 16, 2014, according to the Indictment, Baum removed the oxycodone hydrochloride from at least 25 syringes and replaced it with haloperidol.

Oxycodone hydrochloride, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly addictive narcotic analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain and is to be prescribed only when medically required. Haloperidol, often marketed as Haldol, is an anti-psychotic medication used to treat certain mental/mood disorders and to treat uncontrolled movements or agitation.

Tampering with a consumer product carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. Obtaining controlled substances by deception and subterfuge carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Baum was arraigned on October 2 in Albany before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel and released under pretrial supervision pending a trial scheduled for December 1 before United States District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn.

The charges in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Rabe.

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Updated October 5, 2015