Anesthesiologist Arraigned for Falsifying Patient Records to Fraudulently Obtain Prescription Fentanyl

Modified: April 27, 2021 12:34pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 34-year-old John R. LoFaso of Williamsville was arraigned this morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio on the following charges:

  • One count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (Class “E” felony)
  • One count of Fraud and Deceit Related to Controlled Substances (Class “A” misdemeanor)
  • One count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor)

It is alleged that on January 3, 2021, at approximately 1:49 a.m., the defendant fraudulently modified a patient’s medical records after the chart had been closed to obtain prescription fentanyl, a controlled substance, for his personal use while working as an anesthesiologist at Buffalo General Medical Center. The crime was uncovered after the hospital’s pharmacy manager conducted an internal investigation, which identified five other incidents where the defendant allegedly altered patient records to illegally obtain prescription fentanyl.

The defendant was arrested by Buffalo Police on March 9, 2021. He was given an appearance ticket to be arraigned on the charges today.

The case against the defendant was transferred to Opiate Court. LaFaso is scheduled to appear before Buffalo City Court Judge Shannon M. Heneghan on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 for an initial appearance. He was released on his own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying for bail.

If convicted of all charges, LoFaso faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison. 

DA Flynn commends Buffalo General Medical Center and the New York State Department of Health for their work in the investigation.  

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Candace K. Vogel of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions (SIP) Unit.  

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.