Veterans Affairs employee stole medical tools, offered it on eBay

A medical employee at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle is headed to jail for stealing tools wanted for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) sufferers and promoting it on eBay.

Gene Wamsley, 42, admitted to stealing ventilators and different respiratory tools from the hospital the place he labored as a respiratory therapist who was concerned in, get this, the care of COVID-19 sufferers. And as prosecutors famous in a sentencing memo, Wamsley’s rip-off was “somewhat confounding” since he was concerned in caring for ailing sufferers affected by the lethal virus and was, prosecutors wrote, “an eyewitness to [their] super struggling.”

In accordance with courtroom data, Wamsley’s thievery started someday round Jan. 2020 when the hospital reported lacking two bronchoscopes used for inspecting a sufferers’ airway. Then a 3rd was misplaced in April 2020. Wamsley admitted promoting the three scopes, valued at greater than $100,000, to a Florida resident over eBay for the discount worth of $15,750.

Wamsley additionally stole a $9,950 respirator and offered it on eBay to an Ohio man for $6,000. All advised, Wamsley offered 5 ventilators on-line, three of which have been stolen from the VA. And through a search of his residence in June, investigators seized a fourth bronchoscope and a $6,000 sleep apnea machine additionally lifted from the VA.

“Such a fraud strikes on the coronary heart of our efforts to take care of our aged — particularly our veterans,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Brian Moran. “Stealing cash is unhealthy sufficient, however stealing tools wanted for life-saving therapies shocks the conscience.”

He was sentenced on Monday to a few months in jail and 9 months of residence confinement, based on a Justice Division press launch, and ordered to pay $132,291 in restitution.

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