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New Freedom woman who embezzled $4.3 million from employer sentenced

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HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Donna Marie Wozniak, 57, was sentenced today to 71 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release by United States District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, for embezzlement in connection with healthcare and tax evasion.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, on August 14, 2017, Wozniak, of New Freedom, pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging her with embezzlement in connection with healthcare and tax evasion. Wozniak was the business manager for Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center (SVSC) in Harrisburg from 2000 through 2014. As part of Wozniak’s job duties, she received invoices from vendors of SVSC that needed to be paid from SVSC’s general operating account. Upon receipt of these invoices, Wozniak would then review the invoices to decide when and how much each vendor would be paid. Wozniak obtained blank checks ostensibly for payment to vendors.

During a forensic audit of SVSC’s financial records, it was discovered that Wozniak made a portion of the signed blank SVSC checks payable to herself and that these checks were cleared through SVSC’s M&T Bank account. The evidence shows that Wozniak cashed or deposited a total of $4.3 million utilizing multiple bank accounts she maintained.

In order to conceal her theft, Wozniak created false invoices from legitimate SVSC vendors. Wozniak would then falsify entries into the QuickBooks accounting software maintained by SVSC, showing the checks and payments were being made to the vendors. Wozniak admitted to the theft of SVSC funds and was terminated from SVSC in November of 2014. During sentencing, Wozniak represented to the Court that her gambling addiction caused her to embezzle the funds.

“We appreciate the outstanding effort of our partners at IRS Criminal Investigation in this substantial embezzlement case,” said United States Attorney Freed. “As evidenced by Judge Jones’ sentence, there are stiff consequences for individuals who choose to commit such high dollar thefts.”

“All income is taxable, no matter what the source of the income,” said Guy Ficco, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Today’s sentencing should serve as a deterrent to others who might consider attempting a similar scheme in the future.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph J. Terz prosecuted the case.

Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

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