Former medical device sales rep arrested for alleged spine implant billing scheme

A former medical device sales representative was arrested June 26 for allegedly defrauding a Boston area hospital and lying to federal authorities, according to the Justice Department.

According to the indictment, Matthew Capobianco, 45, of Winchester, Mass., a former DePuy Synthes sales representative and team lead, allegedly defrauded the hospital out of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of spine products. 

Federal prosecutors, who did not identify the hospital, allege that, from January 2016 through June 2017, Mr. Capobianco represented on usage forms that more — and more expensive — DePuy products were used during spine surgeries than were in fact used, resulting in fraudulent overbilling and higher commissions for Mr. Capobianco.

Federal prosecutors also allege that, in late 2016, Mr. Capobianco "instructed a subordinate DePuy sales representative to bring certain DePuy spinal implants into an operating room at the hospital for a surgery, without those implants first being sterilized." Additionally, they allege that in May 2017, Mr. Capobianco himself brought DePuy spinal implants that were not in compliance with the hospital's sterilization policies to an operating room at the hospital. 

Hospital employees confiscated the spinal implants so they were not used in a scheduled surgery that day, and Mr. Capobianco subsequently allegedly lied to federal authorities about his actions, according to the Justice Department.  

Mr. Capobianco faces eight counts of wire fraud and one count of making material false statements. 

DePuy Synthes shared the following statement with Becker's: "All government claims against the company have been resolved and any allegations of improper billing have been dismissed against the company as part of a civil settlement. The settlement was not an admission of liability under any applicable laws.

"The allegations of a former employee's conduct outlined in this indictment are contrary to company policy. We are committed to ensuring our employees conduct business in a way that complies with our Credo and with all laws and regulations, and we have extensively cooperated with the government's investigation related to this indictment."

Becker's has reached out to Mr. Capobianco's attorneys for comment and will update the story if more information becomes available.

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