Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

February 22, 2011: Revere Man Sentenced to Six Months for Health Care Fraud

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release

 

For Immediate Release
February 22, 2011
www.usdoj.gov/usao/ma

United States Attorney
District of Massachusetts
Contact: Christina DiIorio-Sterling
(617) 748-3356
Email: USAMA.MEDIA@USDOJ.GOV

 

BOSTON, Mass. - A Revere man was sentenced today in federal court for health care fraud arising out of a scheme to steal prescription medical supplies from Massachusetts General Hospital and ship them to Colombia.

NELSON BANOL,35, was sentenced by U.S. District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf to five months and 28 days imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release and a $500 fine. Chief Judge Wolf also ordered that BANOL provide restitution to Massachusetts General Hospital in the amount of $3,239. On Jan.11, 2011, BANOL pleaded guilty to one count of theft or embezzlement in connection with health care.

Had the case proceeded to trial the Government's evidence would have proven that in 2009, BANOL, who worked in the Materials Management Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, agreed to assist another individual, ALFREDO GALAVIS, in stealing prescription medical supplies from the hospital. Between November 2008 and July 2010, GALAVIS stole pediatric pulse oximetry sensors and sutures from the hospital and shipped them to Colombia. BANOL assisted GALAVIS in this scheme by stealing sutures from the hospital.

In July 2010, special agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration conducted surveillance of GALAVIS and observed him shipping packages of stolen medical supplies to Colombia. GALAVIS was arrested and he confessed to his role in the scheme, including identification of BANOL. BANOL subsequently admitted his role in the scheme in an interview with federal agents. Four days later federal agents learned that BANOL had purchased a one-way ticket to Colombia. BANOL was arrested at an airport in Fort Lauderdale and brought back to Boston to be charged. Documents and witness statements indicate that the total loss to the hospital in connection with this scheme was at least $167,400, at least $3,240 of which can be attributed to BANOL.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David S. Schumacher of Ortiz's Health Care Fraud Unit.

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