Southern California hospital worker sentenced for $3M theft

May 7, 2019

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A former Southern California hospital worker has been sentenced to six years in prison for stealing nearly $3 million dollars’ worth of medical equipment.

Oscar Orlando Bernal also was ordered Monday to pay more than $5 million in restitution.

Bernal was a surgical assistant for more than a decade at Riverside Community Hospital. Prosecutors say he stole cartridges containing surgical staples — known as reloads — and sold them to medical supply businesses out of the area.

The thefts were finally discovered when other staffers discovered that the supply of staple cartridges didn’t match the number of surgeries performed.

Bernal was arrested in January and pleaded guilty to grand theft last month.