The U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo says 27 year old Kelsey Mulvey was charged by criminal complaint with illegally obtaining controlled substances by fraud, tampering, and violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
According to the complaint, Mulvey was a former nurse at Roswell and used her position to tamper with and steal vials of medication and pills, such as hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, and oxycodone, all Schedule II controlled substances, and lorazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance. She is then accused of replacing the liquid medication with water.
“Mulvey was placed on administrative leave on June 28, 2018, after a large number of transactions associated with the defendant in the Pyxis system were identified as ‘cancelled removed,’ indicating that the Pyxis machine drawer for the selected medication was accessed but the transactions were cancelled,” The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a media release. “The complaint states that Roswell Park inferred that Mulvey had removed and replaced controlled substances with water from the Pyxis machines. Many of these transactions took place on floors and/or wings where the defendant was not assigned and did not have patients. Mulvey accessed the Pyxis machines during her scheduled shifts, on days she was not scheduled to work, and on three dates of scheduled vacation. Between February and June 2018, the defendant is accused of failing to properly administer medication for 81 patients.”
The release goes on to say that in June and July 2018, there was a span of waterborne infections at Roswell Park. The complaint states that six patients allegedly became infected as a result of the defendant replacing medications with contaminated water.
Following an internal investigation by Roswell, Mulvey was placed on administrative leave on June 28, 2018. She then resigned her position in Lieu of Termination on July 13, 2018.
“Once again, this case illustrates the destructive power of opioid addiction,” noted U.S. Attorney James Kennedy. “In this case, however, the harm caused by defendant’s actions resulted not only in harm to herself but in harm to some of the most compromised and vulnerable individuals in our community—those members of our community receiving cancer treatments. If we fail to take action to protect the most vulnerable among us, then we fail as a government.”
“This is not the first time we have investigated and charged a healthcare professional who suffers from addiction,” said FBI Buffalo Special-Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert. “Accessibility to these highly sought-after drugs makes it easier for medical professionals to feed their addiction. Ms. Mulvey’s actions not only put her own health at risk, but also the well-being of dozens of patients.”
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.