Former Saint Vincent Employee Enters Plea in Wire Fraud Scheme - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Former Saint Vincent Employee Enters Plea in Wire Fraud Scheme

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Former Saint Vincent Health Center employee, 33-year-old Julie Wozniak, of Lake Cliff Drive,  pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to five counts in a complex wire fraud scheme.

According to U.S. Attorney David Hickton, from March 2013 to June 2013, Wozniak devised a scheme to defraud St. Vincent Hospital and Hilltop Beer by abusing her position as an accountant.

Prosecutors say using a Saint Vincent purchasing card, Wozniak made 62 separate unauthorized purchases for her own personal benefit adding up to $47,521.03.  She also  increased the credit limit on the purchasing card from $12,000.00 to $30,000.00 to enable the scam.

The government says Wozniak also fabricated St. Vincent accounting records for the purchasing card, to cover up her purchases.  She also used access to Saint Vincent bank accounts to make 22 unauthorized Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits totally nearly $33,000.

Wozniak also operated a private accounting business called "Keeping You Balanced" and used her position as an accountant to steal payroll money from Hilltop Beer. To conceal that activity from the IRS, Hickton says Wozniak made ACH debits from Saint Vincent's operating bank account with S&T bank, and paid the payroll taxes for Hilltop Beer out of the St. Vincent's account.

Finally, Wozniak used her access and authority over Saint Vincent's bank account at First Niagara and made 9 ACH debits to pay on her personal Capital One and Amazon credit accounts.  That fraud added up to $10,778.69.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.  Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for August 11, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

Under federal sentencing guidelines Wozniak could face a sentence of 100 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 or both. For now, she is free on bond. 

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