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Ex-salesman admits medical supplies theft

A former medical supplies salesman from Orchard Park pleaded guilty Friday to stealing about $1.8 million worth of implants and other surgical devices, many destined for Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.

Joseph V. Raymond, who worked for Synthes USA Sale LLC, based in West Chester, Pa., pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny and felony offering a false instrument for filing charges before Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka. Raymond, 39, also pleaded guilty to underpaying New York State taxes for 2006 by $3,040.

Court documents show Raymond worked for Synthes as a sales consultant to Mercy from August 2001 until Jan. 10. Synthes officials suspect him of pocketing another $500,000 from selling their products.

His criminal activity began in January 2002, according to court papers, which show he told investigators he continued his illegal activity "because nobody checked my paperwork or ever called me on it" and did it "to support my family better."

John C. Doscher, chief of the Erie County District Attorney's Special Investigations Bureau, told the judge Raymond cooperated in the return of more than $1.7 million in supplies destined for Mercy. Raymond, authorities said, had been storing the items in his home and garage until he could sell them elsewhere.

Raymond admitted to illegally selling Synthes products to a variety of medical supply businesses in California, Arizona and Oklahoma, according to court papers.

The prosecutor also said Synthes, which suspects Raymond sold more products and pocketed that money, has agreed to seek restitution of only $60,000, largely because no records could be found.

The judge told Raymond he could face up to 15 years in prison on his pre-indictment plea. He was allowed to remain free without bail pending his sentencing on June 20.

The judge ordered restitution for both Synthes and the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

Raymond, who works for another medical business he declined to identify, declined to comment after court.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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