A Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly stealing over $350,000 worth of human skin from a hospital over a period of two years.
According to investigators, 54-year-old Gary Dudek, of Wallingford, Pa., stole skin grafts from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital between November 2011 and July 2013.
Dudek has been charged with theft and tampering with records, NBC10 reports.
The hospital called police to investigate after an audit showed that skin grafts were missing.
Dudek is a sales representative for medicine firm Organogenesis and was in charge of managing Mercy’s bio-medical department’s accounts and supplying grafts before he was placed under investigation, the New York Daily News notes.
Detectives discovered that Dudek had an “open purchase order” which allowed him to buy the skin grafts for the hospital whenever he wanted. But police claim Dudek had ordered an estimated $357,000 of unauthorized skin which the hospital never received.
Dudek was reportedly captured on surveillance video twice transporting the grafts from the hospital to his car.
Police say that Dudek’s motive is unknown and they don’t know what happened to the grafts he allegedly ordered, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. However, they believe he was trying to sell it on commission.
Dudek was arrested and released Tuesday after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail.
He has refused to comment on the allegations, but his attorney Eugene Tinari told NBC10 that the issue should be a civil court matter rather than a criminal one.
"If Mercy Hospital has suffered losses and they can be deemed to be as a result of Mr. Dudek's actions then perhaps a civil suit could have been initiated. But to take this into the criminal arena against a man who has been nothing but hard-working and law-abiding his entire life is a bit draconian, in my view," he said.
He is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 10.