Former Spectranetics chief convicted of lying to federal investigators

John Schulte, the former CEO of Colorado Springs-based Spectranetics ($SPNC) has gotten a reprieve after being acquitted of 11 charges, including defrauding the government and smuggling unapproved medical devices into the country. However, he was convicted of a lying to federal investigators, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette.

In the summer of 2010, Schulte and two other former executives, Obinna "Larry" Adighije and Trung Pham, were named in an indictment on charges of importing unapproved devices. Pham has been acquitted of the 5 charges against him, while Adighije is awaiting trial.

A fourth person, Hernan Ricuarte, a representative of the Florida firm hired by Schulte's former company to identify part makers for its products, pleaded guilty in August to concealing a felony by sending email to a Spectranetics employee promoting the use of false invoices for non-FDA approved catheter guidewires. He awaits sentencing.

The government started investigating Spectranetics in 2008, resulting in the company eventually forking over about $5 million to resolve claims that it sold unapproved medical devices the following year.

"What happened in 2008 was a very unfortunate situation," explains Schulte, who has expressed satisfaction with the verdict, the Gazette notes. "I am glad there was resolution in this case. I remain passionate about Spectranetics technology and am rooting for everyone there every step of the way." Schulte adds that he and his attorneys will see what they can do about the one guilty verdict. At sentencing, he faces $250,000 in fines on the lying to investigators charge and up to 5 years in prison.

Although a Spectranetics official has declined to discuss the latest developments with the paper, the company should see a cloud lift somewhat. It markets the only Excimer laser system approved in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan for use in minimally invasive interventional procedures within the cardiovascular system. Last fall, Canaccord Genuity analyst Jason Mills named it one of 5 medtech companies that he views as potential acquisition targets within the next year or so. In February, the company projected 2012 revenue to be in the range of $133.5 million to $136.5 million, an increase of 5% to 7% from 2011.

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