A Flemington man accused of stealing medical equipment from his former employer, then selling some of the items online, was sentenced last month in Polk County Circuit Court.

According to court records, Joseph F. Gambino, born in 1969, pleaded guilty Nov. 4 to class C felony stealing, in accordance with a plea deal. 

Circuit Judge Michael O. Hendrickson suspended imposition of Gambino’s sentence and ordered him to serve five years supervised probation.

Gambino, who had previously pleaded not guilty, was indicted by a Polk County grand jury in October 2018 for class D felony stealing by deceit, as well as the other felony charge.

As previously reported in the BH-FP, Gambino was accused of taking around $30,000 worth of equipment from his workplace and selling some of the items on eBay. 

The felony indictment said he also stole a wheelchair from a victim. 

A probable cause statement, filed prior to the indictment, said the business’ director contacted the Bolivar Police Department in August 2018 to report three ventilators — which cost $9,000 each — were stolen, according to previous BH-FP coverage. The ventilators were placed for sale on eBay under the user ID “47jfg,” an account registered to Gambino, the statement said. A fourth ventilator was also placed for sale on the website under the same ID. 

Another item — a wheelchair cushion valued at $454 — was reported stolen from the business and sold on Gambino’s account for $150, the BH-FP previously reported.

On his eBay account, Gambino had 401 items listed related to medical equipment.

The statement said Gambino showed a BPD officer and a Hickory County deputy several stolen medical items, valued at around $30,000, at his residence in Hickory County.

Gambino told officers he “felt depressed because of financial struggles and took the equipment from work starting January 2018,” the statement said.

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