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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CEO Of Local Visiting Nurse Care Provider Indicted On Fraud Charges

St. Louis, MO – SUSAN WINEBARGER was indicted for allegedly embezzling approximately $600,000 from company accounts and falsifying documents to conceal the embezzlement.

 According to the indictment, Winebarger was Chief Financial Officer, then Chief Executive Officer of VNA-TIP of Bridgeton, Missouri.  VNA-TIP provides visiting nurse care, hospice care and related patient care service in Missouri and Illinois.  In this capacity, she ran the day-to-day business and financial operations of VNA-TIP, including reconciling bank statements and having full access to bank checks for the company’s operating and payroll accounts.  Winebarger also directly coordinated payments to the outside Administrator for VNA-TIP’s employee 401(k) plan.  The indictment states that between January 2008 and December 2013, Winebarger embezzled approximately $600,000 from VNA-TIP accounts.  Without company authority, Winebarger issued checks to herself from both the operating account and its payroll account and deposited those checks into her personal bank accounts and used the company debit card to purchase personal items.  In order to conceal her scheme, she made sure she received all the bank account statements, which she altered for submission to VNA-TIP auditors.  She also falsified internal financial reports, including monthly profit and loss statements submitted to the shareholders and board members.  Finally, the indictment alleges that Winebarger failed to remit money withheld from VNA-TIP employees’ paychecks for their individual 401 (K) retirement accounts to the plan administrator so that the cash reserves would be falsely inflated in order that VNA-TIP shareholders, board members and auditors would not be aware of the true financial status of the company and potentially discover her theft and embezzlement.  She also failed to remit state and federal withholding taxes, social security and Medicare funds.   

Winebarger, Highland, IL, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of wire fraud. 

In addition to the wire fraud charges, the indictment contains a forfeiture allegation that, if convicted, requires the forfeiture of money and property derived from the criminal activity.

If convicted, wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.   Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 19, 2015