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Press Release

Former Medical Practice Office Manager Sentenced For 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, 35, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to serve two years’ probation and to pay restitution totaling $1,911.23.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between 2015 and March 28, 2018, the defendant was an employee and office manager for a Williamsville physician. In that position, Brucz was given access to the physician’s prescription pad and a New York State issued controlled substance electronic prescribing hard token (prescribing token) and its related passwords, which allowed the defendant to issue prescriptions, and submit them to pharmacies, on the physician’s behalf.

Between 2015 and March 2018, Brucz, without the physician’s authorization, issued, or caused to be issued, 166 fraudulent prescriptions using the physician’s name, the physician’s prescription pad, and prescribing token. The prescriptions were issued in either Brucz’s name, the names of associates, or fictitious individuals. The defendant then filled the prescriptions, totaling approximately 11,885 dosage units, from various local pharmacies, and diverted them for her personal use. The controlled substances included hydrocodone and oxycodone.

The defendant’s scheme was discovered in March of 2018, as Brucz attempted to fill a prescription at a 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 her firing from the physician’s office.

The sentencing 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.

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Updated September 17, 2020