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Press Release

Former Medical Practice Office Manager Charged With Stealing Controlled Substances

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Kristy Brucz, 33, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with obtaining controlled substances by fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between 2015 and March 28, 2018, the defendant was an employee and office manager for a local physician (Physician-1). In that position, Brucz obtained control of the New York State issued controlled substance electronic prescribing hard token (prescribing token) and its related passwords. The defendant then issued 166 fraudulent controlled substance prescriptions—either in her own name or the name of 12 fictitious or unwitting participants—totaling 11,885 dosage units. In addition, the defendant utilized 25 different pharmacies to receive the prescriptions, and used a variety of payment methods including insurance, cash, Medicaid, Medicare, and prescription coupons. The prescriptions included alprazolam, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and phentermine.

The defendant’s scheme was discovered in March of 2018, as Brucz attempted to fill a prescription at Rite Aid Pharmacy.  The pharmacist questioned the legitimacy of the prescription and contacted the physician for whom defendant worked. That inquiry ultimately led to the discovery of defendant’s fraud and led to her being fired from her position at Physician-1's office.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Updated April 18, 2019

Prescription Drugs