Senior center employee charged with stealing painkillers

Robin Hoffman

GOSHEN — An Elkhart County woman faces multiple felony charges after allegedly stealing dozens of doses of narcotic painkillers meant for residents at a Goshen senior facility.

Robin Hoffman, 51, is charged with four counts each of distributing a controlled substance while intentionally failing to keep records, providing false information and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deceit. Each count is a Level 6 felony, which carries a punishment of up to 2-1/2 years in jail.

She was arrested Monday on a warrant issued last month, with bond set at $36,000. The order for her arrest was given following an investigation by the Medicaid fraud investigation unit in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

According to court documents:

Hoffman was a registered nurse working at Waterford Crossing senior living facility in Goshen since 2015. A controlled substance audit on March 21, 2018, found a number of discrepancies with medication reportedly given to four residents.

The audit found a consistent pattern of Hoffman signing out at least one additional dose of medication from the controlled substance count sheet but not documenting that it was given to the patient. A review of records for medication given to the four residents in the previous few weeks found that Hoffman signed out a total of 80 doses of medication for them but did not document 32 doses as being administered.

That included 18 oxycodone tablets for one resident, who needed a tablet every four hours for pain, but seven tablets were not recorded as being administered. Hoffman also allegedly signed out 18 doses of a hydrocodone medication for another resident, who needed a dose twice daily for severe pain, but didn’t record six as being given; 20 doses for a third resident, who needed a dose every six hours for pain, with 10 not documented; and 24 doses for the fourth resident, who needed a dose every four hours, with nine tablets not documented.

Hoffman was fired for narcotics diversion on March 27 after she had documented that she removed medication from a locked medicine cart to give to one resident, but when the resident was later asked if she had requested or received any pain medication, she said no.

The investigation found that between the beginning of February and end of March 2018, Hoffman had failed to keep a record of dispensing a controlled substance, falsified her records and fraudulently acquired the prescription painkillers on as many as 31 occasions.

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