Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
April 6, 2011: East Boston Man Sentenced for Health Care Fraud
BOSTON, Mass. - A Boston 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.
ALFREDO GALAVIS, 55, of East Boston, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to eight months and 18 days imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Judge Zobel also ordered that GALAVIS provide restitution to Massachusetts General Hospital in the amount of $167,400. GALAVIS pleaded guilty to one count of Theft or Embezzlement in Connection with Health Care on January 6, 2011. GALAVIS is the second individual to be sentenced in connection with this scheme; on February 11, 2011, NELSON BANOL was sentenced to almost six months imprisonment and a $500 fine in connection with his role in the scheme.
At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that, between November 2008 and July 2010, GALAVIS, who worked in the Materials Management Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, stole prescription medical supplies from the hospital and shipped them to an acquaintance in Colombia, GALAVIS’s home country. GALAVIS recruited two other individuals (including BANOL) who worked in his department to assist him in his scheme, which involved stealing pediatric pulse oximetry sensors and sutures from the hospital.GALAVIS shipped the supplies via UPS courier, and the recipient paid GALAVIS’s family in Colombia for each shipment. GALAVIS was paid as much as $66,000 in connection with the scheme. In July 2010, agents conducted surveillance of GALAVIS and observed him shipping packages of stolen medical supplies to Colombia. GALAVIS was arrested and confessed to his role in the scheme. Documents and witness statements indicated that the value of the sensors and sutures that GALAVIS stole was at least $167,400.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the 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.