Chico RN Charged with Felony Elder Abuse of Patient who Died While Under her Care

Registered Nurse Allison Joann Guster, of Chico, will be arraigned on June 2, 2017, in Butte County Superior Court.  She has been charged with one felony count of elder abuse following the death of a patient that was in her care.  The charge filed by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office includes a seven year enhancement due to the age of the patient. 

Guster was a night-shift nurse, assigned to care for a patient recovering from surgery.  The investigation revealed that after the patient was found dead in her room early the next morning, Guster allegedly made false entries in the patient’s medical record to indicate that she had been monitoring the patient throughout the night.  Video surveillance showed that Guster had not been in the patient’s room for over six hours.

The case was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Sacramento Field Office.

The Board of Registered Nursing is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against Guster’s license as appropriate.

Click HERE to view the Butte County District Attorney’s Office press release.


Rohnert Park Vocational Nurse Arrested on Felony Prescription Drug Charges

Jennifer Renee Carter, of Rohnert Park, a licensed Vocational Nurse, was arrested on April 13, 2017, on two felony charges of prescription forgery and obtaining a prescription by fraud.

Investigators from the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI), Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU), Sacramento Field Office, obtained an arrest warrant for Carter on April 6th after IEU’s investigation found that she had stolen prescription forms from her employer, a Santa Rosa area hospital, and had written two oxycodone prescriptions for herself.

Carter’s alleged crimes were discovered when employees of a Walgreens pharmacy contacted the hospital to verify the authenticity of the prescriptions.  The physician whose signature was forged on the prescriptions was unaware of Carter’s actions.

Carter was booked into Lake County Jail without incident and has since been released on bond.  Her arraignment hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:00am.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against Carter’s license as appropriate.


Clovis Nurse Charged with Multiple Felony Counts, Including Practicing Medicine Without a License

PrintJennifer Steinbach, a registered nurse from Clovis, will appear in Fresno County Superior Court on December 8, after being charged with 29 felony counts. Charges include 12 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, 16 counts of making false statements in prescription records, and one count of practicing medicine without a license.

The charges are the result of an investigation led by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office.

The investigation found that while employed at a hospital in Fresno, Steinbach allegedly obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Diazepam, Morphine, and Hydrocodone illegally.

Steinbach has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The California Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against Steinbach’s license.


Vocational School Owner to Face Charges for Fraudulent Documents, Witness Intimidation

Benard Thomas of Salinas will appear in Monterey County Superior Court on November 17, 2016, on two felony charges of filing false documents with the state and two felony charges of intimidating a witness.  Print

Thomas, a registered nurse, was the owner of TLC Institute of Nursing Education, which offered an unapproved vocational nursing program in Salinas. Thomas advertised that his program would allow students to take the test to become licensed vocational nurses and students paid up to $5,000 to enroll in the program. Because the program was unapproved, Thomas allegedly provided falsified documents, including training hours and employment verification, to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians so that students would be allowed to take their licensure tests. During the investigation of Thomas, he allegedly tried to intimidate students from talking to investigators.

The Division of Investigation (DOI) Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Hayward Field Office worked with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office to investigate Thomas after a student complained about Thomas’ school to the Board of Registered Nursing.

The Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action against Thomas as appropriate.


Former Registered Nurse Sentenced to Jail, Probation

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FRESNO – A former Registered Nurse has been sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court to 40 months in jail, and will be placed on probation upon his release following his no contest pleas to felony charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, embezzlement and burglary.

An investigation led by the Central Valley Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that in February 2015 Jason Burham Smith removed and tampered with Fentanyl and Morphine vials while employed at LDAC Vascular Centers in Fresno. Video surveillance from the facility showed Smith removing the narcotics from the narcotics cabinet, although he was not authorized to do so.

Last month, Smith entered a no contest plea to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, embezzlement and burglary which occurred during his employment at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. He also pled guilty to one enhancement count of committing a crime while released on bail in a previous case.

In March 2015, Smith surrendered his Registered Nurse license to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) as part of a stipulated settlement. In January 2015, the BRN filed an Accusation against Smith’s license for failing to properly document the administration and wastage of prescription medicine and illegally obtaining controlled substances for personal use.

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See News Release here.


Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty to Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud

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A Castro Valley Registered Nurse has pled guilty in Alameda County Superior Court to obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

An investigation conducted by the Hayward Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that between November 2013 and February 2014, while working at an Oakland hospital, Miae Shin illegally obtained the prescription drug Dilaudid. Shin tampered with Dilaudid bags to remove some of the medication and then returned the damaged bags to the hospital’s medication dispensing machines.

On April  2015 Shin was sentenced to pay restitution to the hospital and to 30 days in jail, which she is currently serving through ankle monitoring.

The Board of Registered Nursing has filed an Accusation to pursue disciplinary action against Shin’s nursing license.  The Accusation can be found here.