Coon Rapids man charged with stealing prosthetics from the University of Minnesota

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2013 - 2:16 PM

The longtime employee, who faces up to 20 years in prison, then sold them online, court documents say.

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Peter Stasica, left, in a 2003 Star Tribune file photo

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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A 52-year-old Coon Rapids man was charged Friday in federal court for allegedly swiping prosthetics and related supplies from the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he worked, and then selling them online.

Peter Stasica faces as much as 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Stasica, manager of Fairview’s orthotics and prosthetics department, allegedly took prosthetics and related supplies without authorization from February to August 2011 to sell on eBay, according to charges. Stasica also allegedly solicited prosthetics from patients who weren’t using them, but he didn’t tell the patients that he planned to sell the devices.

Investigators traced the sale of at least 21 prosthetic limbs or components to Stasica’s eBay account in a span of six months. According to Fairview policy, old prosthetics were supposed to be donated to injured war veterans. When federal agents searched his home, they seized computer equipment, financial records and several prosthetic devices, including a lower leg, an arm and a knee.

He was suspended without pay in the fall of 2011 pending the investigation.

A Fairview employee told investigators that Stasica interrupted a consultation with a patient and recommended a new prosthesis, which the employee found odd because the patient already had a top model. The employee recorded the leg’s serial number and later found it had sold on eBay for $4,561 to a buyer in Alabama.

Stasica had been employed by the hospital’s owner, Fairview Health Services, since 1994. He was the secretary of the Minnesota Society of Orthotists, Prosthetists and Pedorthists, a nonprofit industry group that promotes ethical standards.

 

Staff writer Dan Browning contributed to this report. Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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