Janesville man pleads guilty to stealing Veterans Administration equipment

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Kevin Murphy/Special to The Gazette
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MADISON--A Janesville man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to stealing medical equipment belonging to the Veterans Administration valued at $14,444.

Peter J. Crandall, 44, was employed by Total Health Care of Watertown as a coordinator for the Veterans Administration account. He sold eight continuous positive airway pressure breathing devices online to a California company, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke said.

The California company's resale of the devices was brought to the attention of VA investigators who learned the equipment belonged to the VA and was being warehoused in Watertown. Crandall sold the devices without VA authorization while using the name Peter James, Burke said.

“Something about the sale didn't appear right,” Burke said.

The equipment was sold between Dec. 29, 2011, and April 19, 2012, according to a document filed in court. Most of the devices have since been recovered, Burke said.

In court on Tuesday, Crandall didn't dispute the facts Burke said he could prove if the case went to trial.

District Judge Barbara Crabb continued Crandall's release on conditions and set sentencing for March 19. He faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release and restitution.

The breathing devices are used to treat sleep apnea, a condition that interrupts airflow to the lungs while a person is asleep.

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