The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Hospital-fund embezzler gets three years
A woman who conspired to steal more than $430,000 from a Mary Washington Hospital account has been ordered to serve just under three years in prison.
Nancy Faye Baker, 64, of Orange County pleaded guilty in Fredericksburg Circuit Court Thursday to 13 counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy. She was sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison with all but two years and nine months suspended.
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins, Baker and another hospital employee were in charge of an account funded by doctors at the hospital. Between 2006 and 2012, they shifted funds from the MWH medical staff account into a “sham” account they created and labeled the Fredericksburg-area Medical Society.
The second woman, a 58-year-old Caroline County resident, was charged with the same offenses as Baker but committed suicide when deputies showed up at her home June 28 to serve city arrest warrants on her.
It was not clear what the money was supposed to be used for or how long either woman worked for the hospital, though Jenkins said it was her understanding that the women were part-time employees.
Debbie McInnis, public relations director for Mary Washington Healthcare, issued a statement that said, “Mary Washington Healthcare is involved in an open claim with the insurance company. We are not able to comment on this.”
Jenkins said an investigation began after an audit revealed that an account that should have had several hundred thousand dollars in it only had a couple hundred. Jenkins said both women admitted taking the money and spending it on a variety of items.
About $15,000 cash was recovered in Caroline, Jenkins said, but the rest of the money is long gone.
Baker was ordered to begin making restitution once she is released from prison.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404