Former St. Jude VP Turns Himself In over Theft Charges

Chris Newmarker

September 21, 2015

3 Min Read
Former St. Jude VP Turns Himself In over Theft Charges

Bryan Szweda is out on $100,000 bail. 

Chris Newmarker 

A former St. Jude Medical vice president--accused of stealing nearly $142,000 via falsified expense reports and his corporate credit card--has traveled back to Minnesota and surrendered to authorities in Ramsey County. 

Bryan Szweda had moved to California to work for Irvine, CA-based Edwards Lifesciences after St. Jude (Little Canada, MN) let him go a year ago, according to prosecutors. Szweda turned himself in to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday night, and was released the next day after posting $100,000 bail during his arraignment, Sgt. John Eastham of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office tells Qmed.

Szweda has been charged in Ramsey County District Court in Minnesota with five counts of theft by swindle, along with an additional felony charge of theft of trade secrets. If convicted on all counts, Szweda faces up to 70 years in prison and $200,000 in fines.

Szweda is scheduled to next appear before the court October 14, said Ramsey County Attorney's Office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein

Szweda and the lawyer who represented him on Thursday did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

St. Jude Medical hired Szweda in 2009 as a senior director of operations for tissue valves--unaware of "bad purchases" he supposedly made while previously working at Boston Scientific, according to the criminal complaint. In 2013, the company promoted Szweda to vice president of operations of its worldwide structural heart devices manufacturing business.

The thefts at St. Jude allegedly took place from March 2012 to July 2014, two months before St. Jude let Szweda go, according to the criminal complaint. He stole more than $10,000 via his corporate credit card and submitted or approved falsified expense reports worth nearly $130,000.

Szweda's thefts, according to the complaint, helped pay for everything from NBA tickets to multiple strip club visits. 

Around Sept. 8, 2014, the day St. Jude Medical placed Szweda on administrative leave, Szweda allegedly copied more than 4600 work files to the hard drive of his work computer, and later to two other devices. St. Jude's "highly sensitive" 2014-2018 Strategic Plan was among the files, according to the criminal complain, which also mentioned marketing plans, new medical device technology concepts, production costs, sales numbers, and goals.

St. Jude Medical fired Szweda on Sept. 10, 2014, according to the complaint.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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