Feds: Hospital Scammer Sold Patients' Prostheses

Health worker replaced working artificial limbs, sold them online: probe

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2011 2:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – Seeing this health worker could literally cost you an arm and a leg. A hospital official may have tricked his patients into replacing quality prostheses so he could trade the originals for cash on eBay, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The FBI is looking into whether the head of prosthetic devices at the University of Minnesota’s medical center falsely told his patients they needed new artificial limbs, then took the old ones home with him.

Peter Stasica’s eBay account sold at least 21 such devices over the past six months, the FBI said. After searching his home, feds found a batch of artificial body parts. Under hospital policy, no such items should have been at his home. It all started when a hospital employee was confused by Stasica’s suggestion that a patient replace a top-of-the-line leg socket; the worker later found the socket had sold on eBay for $4,561. Thus far, Stasica—who’s the secretary of a medical ethics organization—hasn’t been charged.

Artificial legs are displayed at an International Committee of the Red Cross hospital.
Artificial legs are displayed at an International Committee of the Red Cross hospital.   (Getty Images)
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