Dental technician cops to precious metal theft at veterans clinic

Gavel Scale Justice

A dental technician pleaded guilty on June 6 to stealing precious metals intended for dental restorations from a U.S. Veterans Affairs medical center in New York and reselling them, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Arthur Hanvey, 65, of New York, pleaded guilty to theft of government property. Hanvey, who faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 4, according to a press release dated June 6 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

Between October 2017 and May 2021, Hanvey reportedly stole precious metals and noble alloys that were meant to be recycled and used to make crowns, bridges, and other dental prostheses. Hanvey worked as a dental technician at a dental clinic at Albany Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Hanvey purportedly sold the stolen items to a third-party refinery, pocketing $17,574, according to the release.

Hanvey allegedly lied to U.S. Veterans Affairs, saying some of the metals could not be recycled for dental procedures. However, the metals, including gold and silver, were in ideal condition for reuse, according to an article published on June 7 in the Miami Herald. As of the day of Hanvey's guilty plea, authorities have not recovered the stolen metals, according to the story. 

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