The ex-head of information technology at North County Health Services has been accused of stealing nearly $800,000 from the San Marcos, California-based nonprofit clinic, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
On December 1, Hector Ramos pleaded not guilty to 49 counts related to the theft.
Authorities said the stealing happened over the course of eight months in 2015.
According to prosecutors, Ramos created two fraudulent companies and submitted false invoices from them to North County Health Services. When his assistant reported the incident to NCHS officials, they looked into the situation.
As it turns out, bank statements show that the payments were made to Ramos’ companies. The funds were used to purchase cigars, clothing, vacations and wine. Another statement shows a $44,000 check to a Porsche dealer.
During his arraignment, his attorney called Ramos “a very credible individual” who had “lived a blameless life for 30 years.”
Meanwhile, Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn said the loss “was very demoralizing” to NCHS’ employees. She added that if Ramos is convicted on all 49 charges, he faces 36 years in prison.
NCHS’ insurance company filed a civil suit against Ramos to recover the money, and the case is pending. The clinic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The situation is slightly reminiscent of what happened at Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Former executive director Gary Fingerhut was charged with bilking the system out of more than $2.7 million. He pleaded guilty to the charges in October.
Photo: zimmytws, Getty Images
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Frank’s source: https://medcitynews.com/2017/12/north-county-health-services/
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