Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
August 8, 2011: Boston Man Sentenced to Five Years Probation 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.
On April 22, 2011, RODRIGUEZ pleaded guilty to one count of theft or embezzlement in connection with health care. RODRIGUEZ is the fourth individual to be sentenced in connection with this scheme. ALFREDO GALAVIS was sentenced to eight months and 18 days incarceration (GALAVIS has since been deported); NELSON BANOL was sentenced to nearly six months imprisonment and a $500 fine; and THOMAS CAIAZZO, the manager of a UPS store, was sentenced to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine for tipping off GALAVIS about the federal investigation.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that RODRIGUEZ was employed at MGH between 2007 through 2010 in the Materials Management Department. In 2009 or 2010, RODRIGUEZ agreed to assist GALAVIS in stealing medical supplies from the hospital. RODRIGUEZ began stealing pulse oximetry sensors from the hospital and providing them to GALAVIS, who shipped the sensors, along with additional contraband, to an individual in Colombia. GALAVIS and his co-conspirators stole at least $167,000 worth of medical supplies from MGH. RODRIGUEZ stole at least 600 sensors from the hospital. MGH pays $11.25 for each sensor. Thus, the loss to MGH was at least $6,750.
In July 2010, federal agents observed GALAVIS attempt to ship a package of stolen medical supplies to Colombia. GALAVIS was arrested and during subsequent interviews GALAVIS admitted and explained his scheme. He identified RODRIGUEZ as one of the individuals who assisted him. RODRIGUEZ later admitted that he assisted GALAVIS with his scheme.
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. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David S. Schumacher of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.