Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

January 19, 2011: Nurse Sentenced Two Years in Prison for Stealing Medical Equipment from Passaic Couty Hospital and Selling it over the Internet

OCI Small Clear Seal
 

Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release

 

For Immediate Release
January 19, 2011

United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
Contact: Rebekah Carmichael
Office of Public Affairs
(973) 645-2888

 

NEWARK, N.J. - A registered nurse was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for stealing over $300,000 in medical equipment and supplies from the Passaic County hospital in which she worked and selling it over the Internet, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Angela DeVarso, 34, of Garfield, Bergen County, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an Information charging her with transportation of stolen goods. Judge Chesler also imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

DeVarso admitted that between July 2008 and October 2009, she stole medical equipment and supplies from her employer, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. DeVarso stole the equipment and supplies by using her access to operating room areas to take the items, place them in a large bag, and take them home. DeVarso admitted that she did this on several occasions, and that the stolen equipment included surgical blades, autoclaveable laproscopes, a surgical camera, and large quantities of sterile sutures, staples, and vials - worth, in total, more than $300,000. DeVarso would then re-sell the medical equipment via eBay to buyers in other states.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced DeVarso to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $302,829.66. U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the United States Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Dragonetti, New York Field Office, FDA/OCI, with the investigation leading to today's sentence. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Chillemi of the U.S. Attorney's Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Amy Lefkowitz, Esq., Garfield, N.J.

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