Former CFO of Bonner General Health is being sought by Idaho’s Bonner County Prosecutor for an alleged embezzlement charge. The Prosecutor, Louis Marshall, issued a warrant at the end of September for Norilina Harvel’s arrest. Harvel is being charged with grand theft, after embezzling roughly $220,000 from the hospital.
Stolen Funds Became Apparent After CFO Left
Norilina Harvel was CFO of the Idaho hospital until June 2014, when she left for a CFO position with Montrose Memorial Hospital in Colorado. According to Bonner General, Harvel left on account of corporate restructuring. The official criminal charges allege that Harvel embezzled the funds from between 2012 and 2014. Ford Elsaesser, chairman of the Bonner Board, states that financial discrepancies became apparent just a month after Harvel left. The hospital then hired an accountant to perform a forensic auditing.
$86,000 Lease for Fake Equipment
According to the audit, Harvel stole small sums of money over the two year period. The audit also found that Harvel made repeated unauthorized credit card charges. She also leased hospital equipment, which the hospital never received. Harvel allegedly did this by setting up a fraudulent Bonner checking account with the local Bank of America. She also set up and maintained a P.O. Box in the hospital’s name, in order to continue the lease. The lease was worth a reported $86,000.
Hospital Officials at a Loss for Explanation
Louis Marshall has made several attempts to contact Harvel, who is reported to be living in Utah, but efforts have been in vain. The Hospital board is confounded as to why Harvel would feel the need to embezzle money. Since her appointment as CFO, the hospital finances actually improved, and Harvel never implied that she was facing any personal financial trouble. Harvel worked for Bonner General as the CFO for 10 years and was employed with the company for 15.
Harvel Facing Criminal Charges
Hospital officials hope to recover 40-50% of the loss. The loss should not have any effect on operations, as the gross revenue of the non-profit hospital is $66 million. Hospital insurance has already picked up 25% of the loss, and chairman Elsaesser hopes the pending claim will cover an additional 25%. Originally, officials were only considering pressing civil charges against Harvel, but the nature of the crime is so insidious that they decided to prosecute her criminally.