Nurse accused of stealing from patients - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nurse accused of stealing from patients

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HOLLY SPRINGS, MS -

(WMC-TV) - She is supposed to be helping her patients, but a nurse in Holly Springs has been indicted for stealing prescriptions from patients.

Sandra Hangey, 41, is accused of stealing pain killers from patients while she worked as a registered nurse on home visits.

Hangey turned herself into authorities in Marshall County Mississippi late last week after she was indicted by a grand jury.

"A nurse is supposed to be for helping people and not destroying people and taking stuff that don't belong to people," said Holly Springs resident Henry Reimey.

Hangey is accused of dipping into patients' pill bottles for pain medications like morphine while working as registered nurse for Gentiva Home Health Agency in 2011.

The indictment alleges that Hangey also stole a controlled substance from Alliance Hospital.

"It makes you wonder about people that take care of you and everything you have, and what type of person they would be," said Tim Brandon.

The Attorney General's office stays busy tracking down these crimes, because it's the patients who end up suffering.

"There's a reason people are described that medication whether it be for pain control or other healthcare reasons they were prescribed that medication and if they don't get that medication they are often in pain," said Treasure Tyson, Director of the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Holly Springs Mayor Andre DeBerry was disturbed to hear of the allegations about the Hangey. He added that the alleged actions are not characteristic of the number of working nurses in the town.

"Some people will find a way to profit from the cares and needs of others," DeBerry continued. "I think it's a shame, but at the same time it is not the rule, but the exception."

We called Hangey for a comment, but her husband answered and said that his wife had nothing to say.

Gentiva, the company that Hangey worked for, released this statement to Action News 5:

"As a matter of policy, Gentiva cannot comment on a case before the courts. We can tell you that Gentiva cooperates fully with law enforcement investigations, and has procedures in place to ensure compliance with our protocols for proper handling of patient medications. In keeping with those procedures, patients of this nurse, who is no longer employed by Gentiva, were transferred to other members of our staff when these allegations surfaced last year."

A news release from the Attorney General's office states that if convicted, Hangey faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and $3,000 in fines.

There was no word on when a trial may take place.

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