Company Pays $158,760 to Resolve Claims Related to Controlled Substance Thefts From Pharmacies During Inventory | USAO-NDNY

ALBANY, NEW YORK – RGIS LLC (RGIS) and its affiliated company, Retail Services WIS Corporation (WIS), agreed to pay $158,760 to resolve allegations that they caused violations of the Controlled Substances Act.  RGIS and WIS employees were implicated in the theft of controlled substances from pharmacies in upstate New York and throughout the United States.  As part of the settlement, RGIS and WIS are changing their policies to require more thorough vetting of employees assigned to inventory pharmacies nationwide. 

The announcement was made by Carla B. Freedman, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

“This settlement strengthens policies that previously provided opportunities for employees to steal while they inventoried controlled substances,” said United States Attorney Freedman. “We are committed to working with our DEA partners to eliminate sources of drug diversion in our communities.”  

“Diversion prevention programs and the Controlled Substance Act are in place to safeguard the public from the perils of drug use and misuse,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino.  “This is an example of the many investigative capabilities at DEA’s disposal to combat drug overdoses and poisonings, and I applaud our law enforcement partners, especially the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of New York for their partnership and diligent efforts.”

RGIS and WIS provide inventory services to client-retail stores throughout the United States, including retail pharmacies.  According to RGIS and WIS policies, only handpicked, high-caliber, well-respected employees are assigned to pharmacy inventory teams and they are required to undergo a drug test and criminal background check.  RGIS and WIS maintain a “zero tolerance policy” for theft. 

Despite these policies, RGIS and WIS employees were implicated in stealing controlled substances from several pharmacies.  For example, in July 2017, an RGIS employee stole Vicodin pills while inventorying a retail pharmacy in Schenectady, New York.  RGIS terminated the employee but later rehired him.  In 2020, that same employee was implicated in stealing narcotics from three pharmacies in Fort Edward, Saratoga, and Glens Falls, New York.  RGIS employees were also implicated in stealing narcotics from pharmacies in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Louisiana.  In addition, WIS employees were implicated in stealing narcotics from pharmacies in Dallas, Duncanville, and Little Elm, Texas. 

RGIS and WIS agreed to implement additional procedures to ensure the proper vetting of employees assigned to inventory pharmacies, and to make the results of the vetting available to their pharmacy-clients.  The pharmacy-clients, as DEA registrants, are ultimately responsible for supervising all personnel on the premises and preventing the diversion of controlled substances.   

DEA’s Albany Diversion Group led this investigation with assistance from the Tactical Diversion Squads in Albany, New York; Dallas, Texas; and Charleston, West Virginia.  The New York State Police, Glens Falls Police Department, and the Little Elm (Texas) Police Department also provided assistance. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Moran represented the United States in this matter

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