A former University of Pittsburgh employee was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly stealing more than $18,000 worth of personal protective equipment from the university and selling it on eBay.
Christopher D. Casamento, the former director of emergency management at the University of Pittsburgh, was indicted on a change of interstate transportation of stolen property, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced Tuesday.
Casamento stole 13,615 pieces of PPE from the university -- primarily Aura N95 respirator masks, surgical face masks and particulate respirator masks -- and sold them on his eBay vendor page. He made $18,783.50 from selling the equipment.
“Mr. Casamento had an obligation to make sure there was enough PPE to keep students and staff at the University of Pittsburgh safe,” Michael Christman, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge, said in a press release. “Instead, he chose to line his pockets.”
The university was first notified of a federal investigation into misappropriated supplies in July, a university spokesperson said in a statement. The university’s internal review revealed that Casamento had stolen the supplies and, upon his admission of misconduct and completion of the internal review, the university terminated his employment July 17. He had worked at the University of Pittsburgh for seven years.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Pittsburgh has maintained an adequate stockpile of PPE sufficient to meet the needs of the University community,” the university’s statement read. “Fulfilment of requests for Personal Protective Equipment were not impacted as a result of the misappropriation. The University is seeking restitution for the misappropriated supplies from Mr. Casamento."