Nurse Convicted of Stealing Medication from Hospitals in Cedar Rapids and Iowa Metropolis | Crime & Courts
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — A Cedar Rapids nurse is set to serve five years behind bars after being convicted in federal court of stealing narcotics from three different hospitals.
Sarah Jean Moses, 43, received the sentence in federal court after pleading guilty to three separate federal crimes, including five felonies, in 2021 and 2022. Charges brought against her included: a charge of tampering with a consumer product, a charge of misrepresentation in health matters, a charge of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a charge of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, Fraud, counterfeiting, deception or deception and a case of theft of government funds.
An investigation revealed that Moses stole several controlled substances, including hydromorphone (Dilaudid), morphine, and oxycodone, from her employers between 2017 and 2019. In order to steal the medicines, Moses tampered with the vials and replaced the medicines with saline and put them back into the machine that dispensed the medicines.
She made false statements to her employers, which include hospitals in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, to cover her plan. This scheme also involved illegally accessing patient records to find out which patients needed the drugs she stole.
“The behavior of Sarah Moses was outrageous. She put patients at three of east Iowa’s major hospitals and one family doctor at serious risk of harm when she substituted saline for needed pain medication,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy T. Duax. “Your sentence is well deserved and hopefully will deter others who might be tempted to steal narcotics from their employers and patients.”
“Patients rely on the assurance that they are receiving FDA-approved drugs to manage their conditions,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Kansas City Field Office. “If healthcare professionals tamper with these needed drugs, we will pursue them and bring them to justice.”
After being fired from the hospitals and a home care agency, she was hired as a paraprofessional worker. In that job, she stole more than $6,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims from the state of Iowa by underreporting her wages.
She was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and asked to pay back the money from the unemployment case. She is being held in the custody of the US Marshal until she can be sent to federal prison.
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