A 47-year-old woman has been indicted by an Oahu grand jury and charged with first-degree theft, accused of stealing diabetic test strip cases worth more than $695,000, according to prosecutors.
Stacie-Lynn Pihana was previously employed by the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center where she worked in the pharmacy department.
The indictment alleges between July 1, 2016 and Sept. 29, 2017, Pihana ordered more than 2,000 cases of diabetic test strips. Prosecutors say she intercepted the cases when they arrived at the medical facility and destroyed the paperwork. She is accused of stealing the cases and selling them to a local sources, who then sold them on the black market.
Pihana is accused of stealing 2,346 cases of diabetic test strips leaving WCCHC with a monetary loss of $695,619.22.
Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro is warning residents the dangers of buying diabetic test strips on the black market.
"Diabetic test strips bought on the black market may be counterfeit, expired, or even defective. Diabetic test strips are very sensitive to temperature variation, and can render inaccurate results if not properly stored," Kaneshiro said. "Diabetics should only buy test strips from a legitimate, qualified pharmacist. Diabetics can have no assurance that test strips bought on the black market will render an accurate reading."
WCCHC released the following statement:
Richard Bettini, President & CEO Anthony R. Guerrero, Jr., Board Chair In October, our internal financial audit system alerted us to the theft, and our immediate investigation quickly put a stop to it thanks to evidence provided by our security cameras and other surveillance systems. We have taken additional steps to further enhance those systems. We have also taken steps to recover the loss by filing a claim with our commercial insurance carrier. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and appreciate their assistance.
We want to assure our patients and our community that this incident has not impacted our services or lessened the commitment that our more than 600 dedicated staff members have to providing the highest quality of patient care.