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Man jailed for stealing USD 100K worth medical equipment from US hospitals

A North Carolina man was sentenced Thursday for stealing and selling more than $100,000 worth of medical supplies while working at hospitals in Washington.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced 28-year-old Denis Tkachuk was sentenced to three years of probation for wire fraud. Tkachuk worked at hospitals in Tri-Cities, Seattle and Olympia—stealing and fraudulently ordering equipment, then selling it to a coconspirator between 2016–2019.

Prosecutors say Tkachuk served as a biomedical technician at Providence Hospital in Olympia, where he was authorized to make purchases of non-capital items less than $5,000.

However, in 2019, hospital inventory revealed that much of the equipment Tkachuk ordered went missing. Hospital officials fired Tkachuk and filed a police report.

“[The U.S. Food & Drug Administration] regulates the manufacturing and distribution of medical products like these medical devices to help ensure the safety of American patients,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert M. Iwanicki, FDA Los Angeles. “Today’s announcement should serve as a reminder of the FDA’s continued focus on individuals and companies that attempt to profit from risking the health of American consumers.”

According to court records, Tkachuk stole hundreds of thermometers, probes, finger sensors and otoscope heads, totaling roughly $108,000.

The FDA launched an investigation and found Tkachuk had sold the products to a coconspirator in Detroit and five other buyers. Investigators found eBay listings of the stolen medical equipment, indicating they had been taken from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Kadlec Hospital in Richland and Providence.

“These were devices intended for use by patients, physicians, and nurses to treat illness and remedy severe injuries,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary Stuart. “This offense caused loss to the hospitals, excess work for the individuals responsible for maintaining the stock, and the unavailability of vital medical devices when needed by physicians.”

Tkachuk pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May 2023 and has been ordered to pay $169,806 in restitution to the hospitals. FOX13 News

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