Former Chief Financial Officer of Mee Memorial Hospital in Monterey Charged $ 96,000 in Personal Expenses to Hospital
SAN JOSE, CA – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that Richard Lynn Wheat, the former Chief Financial Officer of Southern Monterey County Memorial Hospital, has been charged with one count of wire fraud. According to the Information, Mr. Wheat, 51, used his position as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Southern Monterey County Memorial Hospital (known as the George L. Mee Memorial Hospital), to cause the hospital to pay approximately $96,000 in personal expenses.
According to the Information, Mr. Wheat was hired to be the hospital’s CFO in July 1999. The Information states that, beginning no later than November 28, 2002, and continuing until he was terminated in January 2004, the defendant set up an automatic electronic payment from the hospital’s bank account to pay the entire balance on his personal credit card each month. Among the expenses Mr. Wheat caused the hospital to pay were personal travel, hotels, entertainment, groceries, auto parts, stamps, hardware, satellite television, sporting equipment, clothing, personal Internet service – even a payment to his church.
The defendant is scheduled to make an initial appearance on September 20, 2007, before The Honorable Patricia V. Trumbull, United States Magistrate Judge. The case is assigned to United States District Judge James Ware (CR 07-00558 JW).
The maximum statutory penalty wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, is twenty years in prison and a fine of $ 1,000,000, plus restitution. Any sentence following conviction would, however, be determined by the court after considering the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the Court. An Information contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Wheat must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted.
David Callaway is the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Assistant Tracey Andersen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.plhttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Natalya Labauve at (415) 436-7055 or by e-mail at Natalya.Labauve@usdoj.gov.