Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Was Dismissed from Providence Hospital in Olympia When Thefts Discovered
Seattle – A Matthews, North Carolina, man who previously worked at hospitals in Washington State, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to three years of probation for Wire Fraud for his theft and sales of medical equipment, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Denis Tkachuk, 28, previously worked at hospitals in the Tri-Cities, Seattle, and Olympia and evidence indicates he began stealing and selling medical equipment on eBay as early as 2016. Tkachuk was dismissed from Olympia’s Providence Hospital in September 2019 when hospital staff discovered the theft of hundreds of thermometers, probes, finger sensors and otoscope heads. The equipment from that hospital alone was valued at more than $108,000.
“FDA 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 Office of Criminal Investigations Los Angeles Field Office. “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.”
Tkachuk was a Biomedical Technician and in that capacity was authorized to make purchases of non-capital items worth less than $5,000. In August 2019, a hospital inventory determined a great deal of the equipment Tkachuk purchased was missing and did not appear to have been used at the Olympia hospital or within the Providence healthcare group. The hospital staff made a police report and Tkachuk was fired.
The investigation by the Food and Drug Administration Office of the Inspector General revealed that Tkachuk had sold the products primarily to a coconspirator in Detroit, as well as five other buyers. The photos of the equipment that Tkachuk posted for sale on eBay indicated the items were stolen from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Kadlec Hospital in Richland and from Providence in Olympia.
Describing the harm of the theft, Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart wrote to the court, “These were devices intended for use by patients, physicians, and nurses to treat illness and remedy severe injuries. 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. His Detroit coconspirator was also sentenced to a probationary sentence.
Tkachuk was ordered to pay $169,806 in restitution to the hospitals.
The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration Office of Inspector General with assistance from the Olympia Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hillary Stuart.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
HEALTH CARE FRAUD
USAO - Washington, Western