A medical technologies employee from Monroe, New York has pleaded guilty to accepting $75,000 in bribes to secure a lucrative contract between his employer and metallurgy company Sanova, MassDevice reports. Federal prosecutors say Daniel Lawryinowicz brokered a $5.5 million contract for metallurgical services, accepting thousands of dollars in illegal bribes from Eugene Ostrovsky, vice president and partner at New York-based Sanova.

Alleged Stryker Employee Accepted $75K In Bribes

While court documents don’t name Lawryinowicz’s employer, the man’s LinkedIn profile has him listed as a 15-year veteran at Stryker, the medical device giant facing hundreds of product liability lawsuits over its LFIT V40 hip replacement products.

Ostrovsky, the metallurgy executive, pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Travel Act in February 2018, the Department of Justice reports. Lawryinowicz pleaded guilty to his share in the plot on April 3, 2018, admitting his role in the scheme to circumvent an open bidding process for the contract offered by Stryker’s Howmedica division. Howmedica focuses on acquiring, developing and marketing orthopedic implants, including knee and hip implants.

Medical Device Director Faces Up To Five Years In Prison

With Lawrynowicz’s guilty plea in the books, both men face stiff criminal penalties. A single violation of the Federal Travel Act could translate into up to five years in jail, along with $250,000 in fines. Lawrynowicz has also been ordered to forfeit the $75,000 bribe. Ostrovsky must forfeit $1.1 million.

Alongside another Sanova partner, Anatoly Samgorodsky, Ostrovsky has also been charged with bribing an official at the US Department of Energy, hoping to secure a $3.4 million contract for research on nuclear reactor fuel rods.

Recorded Phone Calls Show Deception

Prosecutors say Lawryinowicz accepted the bribes in violation of his employer’s internal policies. On his LinkedIn page (now removed from the site), Lawryinowicz described himself as the senior director of advanced engineering at Stryker, where he guided “a team of 41 engineers and scientists at the Mawah, N.J. facility dedicated to supporting the Recon Business Units.” Recon is the trade name for a line of Stryker’s bone fracture-repair components.

Lawryinowicz and representatives at Sanova orchestrated the scheme between 2012 and 2013, court documents say. Investigators learned of the bribe after an “associate” at the metallurgical company admitted to law enforcement officials that he had paid illicit bribes to Lawryinowicz, including the $75,000 payment after the alleged Stryker contract was signed. A review of bank records confirmed large “cash withdrawals consistent with such a cash bribe,” FBI Special Agent James B. Smith wrote in a criminal complaint filed with the US District Court of New Jersey.

Stryker Declines To Comment

The FBI also began to record Lawrynowicz’s phone calls with one Sanova representative, who’d become an informant after admitting the ruse to law enforcement officials.

In a call on December 22, 2015, the Sanova employee-turned-informant mentioned a sham government audit, hoping to draw Lawryinowicz into the open. The alleged Stryker employee answered, “Let’s get a story together so that you know it all has legs and a tail.” In a call the next day, Lawrynowicz told the Sanova employee that his $75,000 cash bribe “never made it into any account […] there is no record of any kind of deposit.”

Stryker has yet to comment on the case, according to Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry.