LPN charged with fraudulently ordering, stealing hydrocodone pills

A licensed practical nurse at an Oklahoma nursing home has been charged with fraudulently ordering thousands of hydrocodone pills and keeping the majority for herself.

Cheryl Ann Wallace, 46, is accused of ordering 3,731 hydrocodone pills between January 2014 and July 2014 while working at Warr Acres Nursing Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Wallace was terminated from the facility upon discovery of the thefts, a spokeswoman for Warr Acres told McKnight's.

While Wallace did administer some of the pills to residents, she placed the majority of the drugs — estimated to be worth $38,000 — in her purse and took them for her own use, authorities say. The fraudulent drug orders were discovered after the facility's pharmaceutical company became suspicious of the large number of pills ordered for Warr Acres and conducted an audit.

Wallace was charged Thursday with seven charges of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, and one count of false personification for using the names of three different physicians and another LPN to order the pills. If convicted, Wallace faces up to 80 years in prison and fines of up to $70,000.

Wes Bledsoe, founder of nursing home advocacy group A Perfect Cause, told local television station KFOR he believes Warr Acres to be at fault for the thefts as much as Wallace.

"Where's the checks and balances on this where 3,700 pills are obtained in a six month period by this one LPN?” Bledsoe said. “What was happening with the tracking and the pharmacy unit?"