The indicted medical laboratory technician will also be required to pay back more than $69,000 to Hershey Medical Center
It what may be a unique first for the clinical laboratory industry, a
medical technologist in Pennsylvania has been found guilty of a criminal felony for failing to perform certain cancer genetic tests according to approved protocols. The judge has sentenced the medical technologist to 15 months in prison and repayment of almost $70,000 in restitution.
Dark Daily reported on earlier developments in this case in 2017. Medical technologist Floyd Benko was indicted in 2015 after pleading guilty to false statement charges stemming from his work with genetic testing at
Hershey Medical Center (HMC) between November 2014 and April 2015. Now, Benko has been sentenced to nearly 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to false statement charges.
US Middle District Judge Yvette Kane sentenced Benko to 15 months in prison with three years of supervised release following his prison term. He must also make restitution to HMC in the amount of $69,742 related to retesting of the gene mutation tests he previously performed in which the results were found to be inaccurate.
The sentence required Benko to report to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Prisons on January 22, 2018.
Failure to Follow Protocols Leads to Faulty Results and Eventual Sentencing
The charges levied against Benko relate to DNA gene mutation tests performed by him on behalf of HMC for 124 advanced-stage cancer patients. According to a Department of Justice
press release , the genetic testing included:
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR);
KRAS gene mutation; and
BRAF gene mutation assays.
“Benko failed to perform the assays in the manner called for by Hershey’s standard operating procedures,” the press release states. “Subsequent retesting of the patients during summer 2014, revealed that 60 of the 124 patients had assay results discordant with results obtained by two outside medical laboratories.”