Former California hospital employee gets 6 years in prison for stealing medical supplies

A former employee of Riverside (Calif.) Community Hospital was sentenced May 6 to six years in state prison for stealing millions of dollars' worth of medical supplies from the hospital and reselling them, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Oscar Orlando Bernal, a former surgical assistant at Riverside Community Hospital, was sentenced after pleading guilty in April to seven counts of grand theft. Prosecutors charged him with the crimes in February after an extensive police investigation.

The investigation began in May 2018 when Riverside Community Hospital administrators contacted police about missing surgical supplies at the hospital. Administrators said an audit revealed $2.9 million worth of surgical staples that had been ordered over a three-year period could not be found at the hospital.

Through the investigation, police identified Mr. Bernal as a suspect in the theft of the supplies. Police searched his home in January and seized dozens of surgical staple reloads, according to NBC Los Angeles.  

In addition to the prison term, Mr. Bernal was also ordered to pay $5 million in restitution.

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