The former president and CEO of Our Lady of The Lake Foundation, the fundraising arm that supports Baton Rouge, La.-based Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, stole more than $810,000 of donations, according to an independent auditor’s report cited by The Advocate.
John Paul Funes headed the foundation for more than 10 years and led several multimillion-dollar fundraising campaigns for the hospital. He was fired in November after a third-party investigation revealed “a pattern of forgery and embezzlement of funds.”
The hospital hired Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to review documentation that led to Mr. Funes’ firing.
“We’ve identified approximately $810,000 lost due to fraudulent activity committed by Mr. Funes,” Baton Rouge-based Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, which owns Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, told The Advocate. “Over several years, he orchestrated a series of fraudulent transactions that involved the purchase and distribution of gift cards, charter flights and payments to individuals, including forged documents, invoices and signatures. He misled hundreds of people in and outside of our organization.”
Over the next 30 days, the Franciscan Missionaries will replace the $810,00 in lost funds. The organization plans to seek restitution from Mr. Funes.
The long-time president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Foundation, the fundraising arm that supports Baton Rouge, La.-based Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, was fired after a third-party investigation revealed “a pattern of forgery and embezzlement of funds,” according to The Advocate.
John Paul Funes, who led several multimillion-dollar fundraising campaigns for the hospital, headed the foundation for more than 10 years.
“We are shocked and appalled at what we have learned,” Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center said in a statement. “Our Lady of the Lake Foundation is integral to our healing ministry and helped us reach so many important goals that would have been unattainable otherwise.”
The hospital declined to release additional details pending the criminal investigation, according to the report.
“Mr. Funes’ actions in no way represent the values and mission of the Our Lady of the Lake and the Foundation, and the hundreds of volunteers and donors who have given so much over the years,” the hospital’s statement reads.