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JANUARY 11, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. - A Revere man was convicted today in federal court of stealing prescription medical supplies from Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the second man to plead guilty in connection with a scheme that defrauded the hospital out of at least $167,400 worth of prescription medical supplies.

NELSON BANOL, 34, of Revere, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf to one count of Theft or Embezzlement from a Health Care Entity. On January 6, 2011, ALFREDO GALAVIS pleaded guilty to one count of the same charge in connection with the same scheme.

At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that, in 2009, BANOL, who worked in the Materials Management Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, agreed to assist GALAVIS in stealing prescription medical supplies from the hospital. Between November 2008 and July 2010, GALAVIS stole pediatric pulse oximetry sensors and sutures from the hospital and shipped them to Colombia. BANOL assisted GALAVIS in this scheme by stealing sutures from the hospital. In July 2010, special agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration conducted surveillance of GALAVIS and observed him shipping packages of stolen medical supplies to Colombia. GALAVIS was arrested and he confessed to his role in the scheme, including identification of BANOL. BANOL subsequently admitted his role in the scheme in an interview with federal agents. Four days later federal agents learned that BANOL had purchased a one-way ticket to Colombia. BANOL was arrested at an airport in Fort Lauderdale and brought back to Boston to be charged. Documents and witness statements indicate that the total loss to the hospital in connection with this scheme was at least $167,400, at least $3,240 of which can be attributed to BANOL.

Judge Wolf scheduled sentencing for February 22, 2011. GALAVIS faces up to six months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston and Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations made the announcement today. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David S. Schumacher of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.


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