FORMER NURSE PLEADS GUILTY TO PILL THEFT
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that a Conway woman has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obtaining drugs by fraud.
Mary Carlene Burns, 46, of Conway entered the guilty plea this morning in Conway County Circuit Court. The conviction for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a Class C felony, came after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Burns was sentenced to three years of probation and assessed $3,095 in fines and costs. Her drivers’ license was suspended for six months. Prior to the conviction, the former licensed practical nurse had surrendered her Arkansas nursing license.
“Health-care providers should be trusted to treat our loved ones with care, rather than exploit them for personal gain,” McDaniel said. “In this instance, this individual stole prescription medication intended for a nursing home resident. Actions like that are not tolerated in our state. My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to work to prevent fraud, abuse and neglect.”
Burns had been employed as a nurse supervisor at the Brookridge Cove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Morrilton.
Burns admitted to an investigator with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit that she had exchanged a nursing home resident’s prescription Oxycodone with an over-the-counter pain medication. She then took the controlled substance for her personal use. The resident informed officials that he was given the wrong medication on three different occasions.
Fifteenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Tom Tatum II appointed an attorney with McDaniel’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit as a special deputy prosecutor in the case.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse and neglect in nursing homes, call the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s tip line, (866) 810-0016.