A former staffer at Riverside Community Hospital suspected of stealing millions of dollars worth of surgical gear was being held Friday in lieu of $2.9 million bail.

Oscar Orlando Bernal, 38, of Moreno Valley was arrested Thursday and booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside on suspicion of grand theft, embezzlement and a sentence-enhancing white collar crime allegation.

According to Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback, detectives were alerted in May 2018 to possible theft of medical supplies at RCH after administrators at the downtown facility conducted an audit to rectify accounting discrepancies.

Railsback said that the audit focused mainly on large volumes of surgical staples — valued at nearly $3 million — that had been ordered over a three-year period but could not be found on the hospital grounds.

Bernal was identified as the person allegedly behind the procurement.

A warrant was obtained and served Thursday at his residence in the 11200 block of Showdown Lane, where “stolen medical supplies and additional evidence was recovered,” Railsback said.

The suspect was taken into custody without a struggle.

RCH spokeswoman Cherie Crutcher thanked investigators for being “very responsive” to hospital administrators since the time the audit was completed.

“We especially appreciate their diligent effort … in their investigation of this individual,” Crutcher said.

Bernal has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.