Three men face charges of being part of a ring that sold surgical equipment stolen from Beaumont Health -- some of which was used. Two of the people are former hospital employees who had access to the equipment, federal authorities say.
Authorities allege that the stolen equipment was sold on eBay and Amazon around the country, resulting in more than $560,000 in revenue in a scheme that started in June 2017 and ran through March 2019.
"Some of the medical devices stolen and resold over the Internet were possibly contaminated devices that were previously used in various surgical and other medical procedures on patients," an indictment said.
The indictment names former Beaumont employees Paul Purdy, 49, of Bellbrook, Ohio, and Valdet Seferovic, 32, of Auburn Hills. Zafar I. Khan, a 40-year-old Fenton resident who owns a medical device company in Flint, also is accused.
The scheme allegedly began with Purdy stealing the equipment and selling it online. When he left the hospital in 2017, he recruited Seferovic to steal. They both then sold products on the Internet.
Purdy and Seferovic, who were friends, primarily stole three types of medical devices:
Cystoscopes, a thin tube with a camera which is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. Some may have been stolen from the cleaning and disinfecting room and may have been contaminated.
Ophthalmoscopes, an instrument for inspecting the retina and the other parts of the eye.
Otoscopes, an instrument for inspecting ears.
In 2017, the indictment alleges, Seferovic also agreed to steal and sell medical supplies for Zafar Khan, the owner of Wholesale Medical & Surgical Suppliers of America in Flint, who sold them to unsuspecting buyers who did not realize they were stolen.
“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," said Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.
Beaumont executives cooperated with the investigation, spokesman Mark Geary wrote in an email to The Detroit News.