A former MedStar paramedic supervisor has been convicted on 38 counts involving tampering, wire fraud, making false statements and identity theft regarding his theft of fentanyl and morphine.
Donald S. Boyce, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced on Nov. 21 that Jason Laut, 40, of O’Fallon, was found guilty by a jury sitting in East St. Louis. The jury convicted Laut on 38 counts, including six counts of wire fraud, 29 counts of making false statements on narcotics logs, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of tampering with the consumer product fentanyl.
Evidence at trial included that, while Laut was acting as a paramedic supervisor for MedStar ambulance company, he tampered with at least 85 vials of fentanyl that were on active duty ambulances by placing a needle through the tamper resistant packaging, removing the fentanyl, and replacing it with water or saline. This action left these tampered vials on ambulances potentially to be used by paramedics who were unaware of the tampering.
Evidence was also presented regarding how Laut altered and falsified documents and records between January of 2013 and May of 2015 to conceal his theft of fentanyl and morphine. These thefts were in addition to the fentanyl removed by tampering. There were 91 unique instances in which Laut stole fentanyl or morphine or both. Fentanyl and morphine are addictive Schedule II controlled narcotic painkillers. These thefts of controlled substances were from narcotic boxes maintained on ambulances in order to render aid to injured individuals consistent with operating procedures approved by a medical director or hospital orders. Memorial Hospital in Belleville supplied Southwestern Illinois EMS system ambulances with the morphine and fentanyl in the narcotic boxes, and suffered the financial loss occasioned by the thefts.
For more on Laut, please see this week’s print edition.