Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 14, 2021
An indictment was unsealed charging two former Beaumont employees and a medical supply distributor with wire fraud based upon a scheme to steal medical devices and/or medical supplies from Beaumont Hospital and then sell them on the internet, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Lynda Burdelik, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Paul Purdy, 49, of Beavercreek, Ohio;
Valdet Seferovic, 32, of Auburn Hills, Michigan; and
Zafar Khan, 40, of Fenton, Michigan
According to the indictment, from 2003 – 2017, Paul Purdy was employed at Beaumont Hospital. During his employment, he stole medical devices and/or medical supplies from the hospital and resold them via the internet to customers throughout the United States. Defendant Paul Purdy never informed the purchasers that the medical devices and/or supplies he sold to them were stolen. Purdy resigned from the hospital in 2017 and enlisted Valdet Seferovic, an employee of the hospital, to continue the scheme of stealing medical device and/or medical supplies. Valdet Serferovic had access to the medical supply and the cleaning and disinfecting rooms at the hospital. Purdy and Seferovic primarily stole three types of medical devices: (1) cystoscopes, a thin tube with a camera which is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder, some of which may have been contaminated as they were stolen from the cleaning and disinfecting room after being used in surgical procedures; (2) Ophthalmoscopes, an instrument for inspecting the retina and the other parts of the eye; and (3) Otoscopes, an instrument for inspecting the ears. Purdy and Seferovic sold these devices and/or supplies via the internet to customers throughout the United States. The purchasers were never informed that the medical devices and/or supplies were stolen.
According to the indictment, in September 2017, Valdet Seferovic also agreed to steal and sell medical devices and/or medical supplies to Zafar Khan, the owner of Wholesale Medical & Surgical Suppliers of America, LLC. Once Khan acquired the stolen medical devices and/or medical supplies he sold them to unsuspecting purchasers via the internet.
United States Attorney Schneider stated, “These defendants used their employment status to circumvent the safety protocols established by Beaumont Hospital to profit from the theft of medical devices and put the health and safety of the general public at risk in doing so. This indictment should send a clear message that our office is committed to prosecuting anyone who would endanger the health and safety of the general public for personal gain.”
“Medical devices that are removed from their rightful place in a hospital or other medical setting put patients’ health at risk by denying them access to needed diagnostic imaging and treatment,” said Special Agent in Charge Lynda M. Burdelik, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Chicago Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who jeopardize the public’s health for profit. And we commend our law enforcement colleagues for their assistance in this case.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Regina R. McCullough. The case was investigated by special agents of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations and the Royal Oak Police Department.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
USAO - Michigan, Eastern