Reuters is reporting about a Pennsylvania man who was arrested for stealing human skin grafts worth $350,000 from a Philadelphia hospital. Skin graft salesman Gary Dudek, 54, is the man in the custody of the police. Dudek is accused of stealing human skin grafts from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital over a period of two years, police said on Friday.
According to Mercy Philadelphia Hospital authorities, Gary Dudek stole numerous sheets of lab-grown skin grafts over a period of two years. These were intended to be used in skin graft surgeries at the hospital. Dudek’s reign of stealth ran from November 2011 until July 2013, a local police spokeswoman said.
According to NBC Philadelphia, the police did not launch an investigation into the actions of Gary Dudek until January of this year. This was following an internal audit by the hospital which revealed that Dudek had “purchased” $357,000 worth of skin grafts that were never actually used by the hospital.
Gary, who worked as a sales representative for a company known as Organogenesis, had the privilege of maintaining an “open purchase order” with the hospital that allowed him to order skin grafts whenever he wanted. Gary decided to misuse this privilege and order skin grafts for himself in the name of the hospital. He was also caught twice transporting the grafts which arrived at the hospital to his car. Meanwhile, Organogenesis has issued a statement saying that Gary Dudek no longer works with them and that he left the company in 2013. It is believed that Gary stole the skin grafts so that he could resell them to other hospitals for a commission.
Skin grafts are widely used to treat cases of disfigurements, usually caused by serious burns, injuries, and even accidents. After an investigation, Gary Dudek was eventually arrested by police at his Wallingford, Pennsylvania home and was briefly held on charges of theft and record-tampering. He has been since then released on a $10,000 bail.
Dudek’s lawyer has maintained that his client is an innocent man.
[Image via Facebook, NBC Philadelphia]