CALLAWAY, Md. (Jan. 28, 2016)—Leyla Samadi, 54, of St. Mary's County, pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally obtaining controlled substances by fraud. The case was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Buffalo.
The former Buffalo nurse was arrested on June 2, 2005 in her then home in Germantown, Maryland.
Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Burgasser, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between November 22, 2014 and January 7, 2015, the defendant tampered with pain medications Demerol and Hydromorphone while working as a registered nurse at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo.
The complaint states that Samadi, while working in her capacity as nurse, would log into a Pyxis machine which is used to automatically dispense liquid pain medications using her username and fingerprint scan. The defendant would identify the narcotic and patient it would be administered to. Samadi would remove the medication, take it to the patient, scan the patient's wristband and scan the medication. But rather than administer the medication to the patient, the defendant would instead inject herself with the narcotic. Samadi then replaced the missing medication with saline solution and return it to the Pyxis machine. Once she returned the vile to the Pyxis machine, the defendant would cancel the transaction claiming that she had selected the wrong medication or the wrong patient.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Ebersole, the New York State Attorney General's Office, under the direction of Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, under the direction of Joshua Vinciguerra, and the New York State Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the direction of Chief Upstate Investigator Upstate William Falk.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.