Ex-revenue cycle director gets prison time for embezzling from Delaware hospital


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Hope Abram, a former revenue cycle director at Lewes, Del.-based Beebe Healthcare, has been sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Beebe Healthcare, according to the Salisbury Daily Times.

Ms. Abram was arrested earlier this year after Beebe Healthcare officials alerted police of a potential internal embezzlement. A standard audit of receivables and payments pointed to several irregularities tied to Ms. Abram. She recently pleaded guilty to theft of greater than $100,000 in connection with the incidents.

Between February and May of 2017, Ms. Abram requested refund checks for fictitious people. When the checks were returned, she deposited them into her personal account.

Ms. Abram was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but much of it was suspended. She will serve two years in federal prison followed by home confinement. In addition to the prison term, Ms. Abram was ordered to pay $201,451 in restitution, according to the report.

CEO of Louisiana hospital’s fundraising arm fired after embezzlement probe


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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.



Ex-director of finance accused of embezzling $3M from North Carolina hospital


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High Point (N.C.) Regional Hospital’s former director of finance is accused of stealing more than $3 million from the hospital between Jan. 1, 2003, and Aug. 15, 2017, according to WXII 12 News.

According to a federal indictment, Kimberly Russell Hobson defrauded the hospital by issuing unauthorized and forged checks payable to herself and relatives. She’s also accused of using the hospital’s credit cards for personal expenses.

Ms. Hobson used money embezzled from the hospital to purchase luxury vehicles, a motorcycle and other items for personal use, according to court documents.

Ms. Hobson is charged with seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud, five counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of possessing and uttering counterfeit securities, according to the report.

A spokesperson for High Point Regional Hospital told WXII 12 News Ms. Hobson was removed from her position at the hospital last summer.


Ex-Cleveland Clinic Innovation executive pleads guilty in $2.7M fraud case, prison time likely


Money, handcuffs and a stethoscope

The former head of Cleveland Clinic Innovations pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in defrauding the nonprofit academic medical center out of more than $2.7 million via a shell company.

Gary Fingerhut was arraigned in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud and one count of making false statements, Crain’s Cleveland Business reports.

Although he won’t be formally sentenced until Jan. 30, Fingerhut’s attorney told the publication that federal prosecutors will ask U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko for a sentence of between 41 and 51 months in federal prison. He may also be ordered to pay restitution to the Cleveland Clinic.

Fingerhut served as the executive director of the clinic’s innovation arm for two years until an FBI investigation revealed in 2015 that he was involved in a fraudulent scheme with the chief technology officer of a spinoff company to contract with a company that never intended to perform or provide any goods and services. The deal was in violation of Cleveland Clinic’s ethics and compliance policies and requirements, which prohibit employees from receiving any financial benefit from companies the Clinic did business with, and the organization fired Fingerhut.

Federal prosecutors said Fingerhut accepted at least $469,000 in payments in return for not disclosing the fraud scheme, which diverted nearly $3 million from the Clinic.

Fingerhut’s attorney, J. Timothy Bender of Bender, Alexander & Broome in Cleveland, told Crain’s that Fingerhut is very sorry for his role in the fraud scheme.

Former UAB Hospital food services employee charged with $1M cash theft


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Federal prosecutors charged a former University of Alabama at Birmingham employee with stealing more than $1 million over six years from a cash room she oversaw.

Kyejuana Avery was charged Friday with one count of theft between 2008 and 2013 concerning programs receiving federal funds. The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the charge, along with a plea agreement, in U.S. District Court. Avery will plead guilty to the charge and will pay restitution to UBA in an amount to be determined at sentencing. The maximum penalty for theft concerning programs receiving federal funds is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Ms. Avery had worked as a financial account representative at UAB in the Hospital Food and Nutrition Services Department from 2007 to 2013. She was responsible for the “Cash Room,” where cashiers from various food and beverage locations throughout the hospital are able to exchange high denomination bills for smaller bills and coins to make change for customers.

Healthcare organizations: Steer clear of vendors with ties to terrorism