Suburban Chicago Nurse Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Tampering With Patient Medications

Department of JusticeU.S. Attorney’s OfficeNorthern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, April 4, 2024

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago nurse has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for removing morphine prescribed to patients and replacing it with another liquid.

SARAH DIAMOND was employed as the Assistant Director of Nursing at a Chicago-area medical rehabilitation center, where she was responsible for dispensing medications to patients, including those in hospice care.  In the summer of 2021, Diamond removed morphine from bottles that had been prescribed to at least five patients to manage their pain and replaced it with another liquid, knowing the diluted substance would be dispensed.   Diamond removed the morphine for her own personal use and with reckless disregard and extreme indifference for the risk that the patients would be placed in danger of bodily injury.  In at least one instance, a patient’s family members observed the patient suffering during what would end up being some of the final moments before dying.

Diamond, 31, of Woodstock, Ill., pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of tampering with a consumer product.  U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah imposed the sentence Wednesday during a hearing in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Ronne Malham, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Crystal Lake, Ill., Police Department.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heidi Manschreck.

“Patients deserve to have confidence that they are receiving the legitimately prescribed medication and not a diluted substance,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Pasqual.  “Health care practitioners who illicitly tamper with prescription drugs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Patients suffering from pain trust their health care providers to provide relief through effective and appropriately dosed medications,” said SAC Malham.  “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice healthcare professionals who violate their position of trust and jeopardize patients’ health and well-being by tampering with their pain medications.”

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Content current as of:
04/04/2024