Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Health: Ex Mayo Clinic Employee Indicted for Allegedly Contaminating Syringes With His Own Hepatitis C Virus

U.S. Attorney’s Office

JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Steven Beumel, (48, Orange Park) with five counts of tampering with a consumer product, resulting in death or serious bodily injury, and five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. If convicted on all counts, Beumel faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

According to the indictment, Beumel was a radiology technician at Memorial Hospital from May 1992 through October 2004. Beumel also worked as a radiology technician at Mayo Clinic from October 2004 through August 2010. The indictment alleges that Beumel, before patients’ procedures, took syringes of Fentanyl and replaced them with used syringes contaminated with his own Hepatitis C Virus. According to the indictment, five different patients contracted Hepatitis C from Beumel. The indictment alleges that one patient died as a result from Beumel’s tampering.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Department of Financial Services, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Homicide Unit. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.