A nurse from Queens faces up to seven years in prison after he stole more than $30,000 in medical equipment from a Northwell Health System hospital, authorities said.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release Friday that Rafael Hung, 42, was arraigned Thursday before Judge Elizabeth Fox-McDonough on a charge of third-degree grand larceny.
Hung began working in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset in March 2011, Singas said. In November 2016, a Northwell manager received information that devices, including an infusion pump and vein finder, were being sold on eBay and shipped from an address in Oakland Gardens, Queens, Singas said.
An investigation by Northwell found devices had been stolen from the health system between Aug. 8, 2016, and Feb. 16, 2017 — Hung allegedly removed the equipment by hiding it in his backpack, according to the statement from Singas.
Northwell investigators notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also referring the case to the district attorney’s office.
Hung has since been fired, Singas said. The status of his nursing license was under review — and it could be revoked if Hung is convicted, Singas said.
The total value of the equipment was $34,000, Singas said.
“Nurses are hardworking professionals entrusted with an essential role in our health care system, but this defendant allegedly betrayed that trust and stole medical devices to make a quick buck,” Singas said in a statement. “Stealing from medical providers drives up the cost of care for everyone, and this prosecution sends a clear message that thefts like these are not victimless and come with serious consequences.”
An attorney for Hung could not be reached for comment Friday.
Hung was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court June 7.