SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A former pharmacist at the Shreveport Veterans Affairs Hospital has been indicted on federal charges, accused of stealing pharmaceutical drugs from patients’ prescriptions.
According to a statement released by United States Attorney David C. Joseph Wednesday afternoon, a grand jury has indicted Melissa W. Richardson, 43, of Shreveport, on 20 counts of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud.
According to the indictment, Richardson stole various quantities of Hydrocodone, Tylenol/Codeine, Diazepam and Morphine on June 9, 2017 from prescriptions meant for patients.
According to FederalPay.org, a non-profit organization that tracks pay for federal employees, Richardson’s base salary as of 2016 (the latest data available), was $113,851.
If convicted, Richardson faces a maximum term of four years imprisonment, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison D. Bushnell is prosecuting the case.
The statement notes an indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.