A federal jury found two executives guilty of deliberately selling faulty sterilization equipment to hospitals that left 18 people blind in one eye. Ross Caputo and Robert Riley, who ran the now-bankrupt AbTox, Mundelein, Ill., were found guilty of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and other charges. Sentencing is set for July 12. They could face at least 10 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Caputo and Riley received Food and Drug Administration approval to market a one-cubic-foot device that used an acid vapor to sterilize stainless steel instruments. Instead, they marketed a larger device that they told hospitals would sterilize multiple devices, including instruments used in eye surgery. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gurland said the company sold 168 of the devices to hospitals around the country from 1994 to 1998, despite FDA notices to stop. The equipment did not work, and as a result patients were infected and lost vision, Gurland said.
Execs convicted of selling faulty sterilization system
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