Nurse used $1.1 million of embezzled funds for cruise and personal expenses, feds say
An Alabama nurse was sentenced to over two years in prison after authorities said she embezzled more than $1 million from the surgical practice where she worked.
The 58-year-old registered nurse worked as an office manager and administrator at a Birmingham surgical practice for 15 years, according to a May 16 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama.
Between 2005 and 2020, the nurse “handled bookkeeping and accounting functions for the practice, and she used that position of trust to steal money in a variety of ways,” prosecutors said.
Starting in 2013, the nurse transferred money from the practice’s accounts, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, into a PayPal account she operated. The money was in addition to funds she was authorized to receive, officials said.
The nurse used the money to pay off credit card bills for herself and her partner, according to the release.
Later, she took out credit cards in the names of doctors at the practice and used the cards to pay off more of her personal expenses, prosecutors said.
This included paying for a “7 Night Northern European CityScapes” Royal Caribbean cruise for herself and her partner, according to the release.
Prosecutors say the nurse also paid personal expenses directly from the practice’s funds, including for car lease payments, life insurance premiums and an $8,000 home entertainment center she purchased from Best Buy.
The nurse told investigators she stole more than $1.1 million over the course of 15 years, according to the release.
The nurse pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to 26 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. At the time of her plea deal, she was ordered to pay $400,000 back to the surgical practice, according to the release. She was also ordered to pay an additional $600,000 in restitution at the time of her sentencing.
She was a resident of Birmingham.
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