June 28, 2017: Former VA Nurse Re-Sentenced for Stealing and Tampering with Patient Medications
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Nathan Baum, age 32, of East Greenbush, New York, was sentenced today to serve 38 months in prison for tampering with a consumer product and obtaining controlled substances by deception.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Special Agent in Charge Donna L. Neves of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Ebersole of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office.
Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn also imposed a $2,000 fine and a 3-year term of supervised release, to begin after Baum’s release from prison.
Baum was originally sentenced, on June 22, 2016, to 82 months in prison. With the government’s consent, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the sentence in May 2017 and remanded the case for resentencing. Baum has been in custody since his original sentencing date.
Baum pled guilty in February 2016 to tampering with a consumer product and obtaining controlled substances by deception and subterfuge. Baum, a licensed practical nurse who worked at the hospice ward of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Albany, improperly accessed syringes that contained oxycodone hydrochloride. These syringes were stored in locked containers that Baum was able to access using his individually assigned password. Between April 8, 2014 and May 16, 2014, 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. Haloperidol, often marketed as Haldol, is an anti-psychotic medication used to treat certain mental/mood disorders and to treat uncontrolled movements or agitation.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Rabe.