A federal grand jury has charged a former sales representative for a Charleston-area medical business with theft of government property.
Michael Ward, a Texas resident who worked for Berchtold Corp. until last year, embezzled unspecified property valued at more than $1,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense, according to an indictment filed with U.S. District Court in Charleston.
Also, prosecutors said Ward created false documents twice in October 2010. In the first instance he fabricated an invoice stating that Berchtold had sold surgical equipment to Kaiser Hospital Asset Management at inflated prices, according to the indictment.
In the other case, he falsely certified in a written price quote that the rates he was offering were the lowest available for favored customers when he knew they were “far in excess of the best pricing that Berchtold ... was required to provide the United States Government for such goods.”
The prosecution is seeking an order requiring Ward to pay money or forfeit assets equal to the value of the embezzled property. It also is seeking any assets he obtained using proceeds from the alleged embezzlement.
An arraignment hearing is scheduled for April 23 in Charleston.
In a false claims lawsuit he filed against Berchtold last year, Ward said he lives in San Antonio. He was fired by the company in March 2012, according to court documents. His lawsuit was put on hold in October.
German-owned Berchtold makes surgical lighting, operating room tables and other medical products. Its North American headquarters are in North Charleston.