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Post date: September 10 2014

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Nurse For Allegedly Stealing Narcotics From Brain Trauma Nursing Facility Resident

LPN Amy DeAngelis-Martin Charged With Stealing Oxycodone Pills, Replacing Them With Similar-Looking Over-The-Counter Allergy Pill

Schneiderman: Staff At Nursing Homes Must Put Patient Care First

PEARL RIVER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Amy DeAngelis-Martin, a Licensed Practical Nurse formerly employed by Northeast Center for Special Care in the Town of Ulster, New York, for allegedly stealing three oxycodone pills from a resident’s prescription for her personal use. DeAngelis-Martin faces felony charges, including Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, and up to four years behind bars.

The 52-year-old nursing home resident was paralyzed from the waist down due to head and neck trauma and had been prescribed oxycodone for pain. DeAngelis-Martin allegedly replaced the oxycodone with similar-looking Loratadine pills, a generic form of Claritin, an allergy medication and a non-narcotic, on May 22, 2013.

“Staff at nursing facilities are entrusted to care for those who are unable to care for themselves, including administering appropriate medication,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.  “My office will prosecute individuals that violate that trust and prey upon the vulnerable patients. The allegations in this case serve as a strong reminder of the dangerous and addictive qualities of opioid medications -- and why they must be closely monitored.”

Charges filed against DeAngelis-Martin, 34, in Ulster Town Justice Court include one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree (a class E Felony); one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a class E Felony); one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (a class A Misdemeanor); and one count of Petit Larceny (a class A Misdemeanor).  Class E felonies carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison, while class A misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

DeAngelis-Martin, of Saugerties, N.Y., was arraigned before Judge Susan Kesick and released on her own recognizance.  She is due back in court on October 7.   

The charges brought today are accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case was investigated by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Senior Investigator Frank Bluszcz with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Todd Pettigrew of the MFCU Pearl River Regional Office with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Thomas O’Hanlon is the Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.  

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