Combine a Kafka and an alleged crime brother Grimm and you get a story about a scheme to sell expired equipment used in gastric band weight-loss surgery, according to an indictment filed Thursday in Fort Lauderdale’s U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
According to the Department of Justice, Parkland’s Peter Kafka and St. Petersburg’s Gregory Grimm have been indicted on one count of conspiracy; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; three counts of wire fraud; and six counts of misbranding devices after shipment in interstate commerce.
The indictment alleges that Kafka bought those devices, LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding Systems, from online sellers when the devices were expired or near-expired. Then Kafka would give the devices to fellow Apollo Endosurgery senior account executive Grimm, who would create labels with false serial numbers and expiration dates. Grimm would return the devices to Kafka to sell to local doctors.
The federal government believes they worked this scam from June 2014 to August 2015.
The equipment in question was designed to be used in weight-loss surgery. Doctors surgically implant the band around the upper part of the stomach, limiting how much food can be eaten and increasing the digestion time, thus cutting down overall food intake.