SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 14, 2013

Peabody man accused of stealing more than $640K from hospital

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — A Suffolk County Grand Jury has indicted a Peabody resident and former machine shop manager at Massachusetts General Hospital for allegedly stealing more than $640,000 in three separate schemes from the hospital.

One of those schemes involved the sale of scrap brass discs after they were used in radiation treatments on cancer patients, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said yesterday.

Prosecutors also allege Leonard Wasileski ordered $88,000 worth of woodworking tools and equipment through the hospital for his personal use, and directed payments for hospital invoices to his own bank accounts.

Wasileski, 65, was indicted Thursday on three counts of larceny over $250. He had worked for 36 years for the hospital. He was fired in August after the hospital conducted an investigation.

“He allegedly used his position and authority at the MGH machine shop to perpetuate and conceal this theft,” Coakley said in a prepared statement. He had worked his way up from machinist to manager of the machine shops within the hospital’s Department of Radiation Oncology.

Coakley’s office said much of the alleged theft, more than $540,000 worth, came from Wasileski selling brass discs after they were used in radiation therapy treatments. Those discs can no longer be used for clinical purposes, so they are considered scrap metal and sold, said a hospital spokeswoman. Wasileski arranged for scrap vendors to pick up the discs, but then kept the money himself, instead of turning it over to the hospital, investigators said.

In another scheme, investigators said, Wasileski billed the University of Rochester for some $12,000 for work that MGH machine shop employees performed for a professor’s research. But he directed that the checks be made out to him personally, and he deposited them in his personal bank accounts, investigators said.

The Attorney General’s Office began its investigation in August after the hospital’s special investigations unit conducted a preliminary investigation of their own.

Wasileski is scheduled to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Jan. 16.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.