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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Woman Indicted for Stealing Money from Unity Health System

 

         ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Rochester has returned a two-count indictment charging Barbara Tripi, 62, of Lyndhurst, Ohio, with interstate transportation of money taken by fraud and theft in connection with health care benefit program. The charges carry a maximum p[enalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that Tripi worked at Unity Health System as a director and was responsible for account oversight beginning in 2008. Sometime around February 2009, the defendant created and submitted fraudulent invoices to Unity Health System for purported coding work performed by a “Barbie Treple,” knowing that Barbie Treple did not exist and that the medical coding services listed on the invoices had never been performed. Tripi approved the payments made to Barbie Treple. Between February 2009 and August 2011, Unity Health System issued approximately 57 checks totaling approximately $268,800, all made payable to Barbie Treple. The defendant picked up the checks from the Unity Health System cashier in Greece, N.Y. and transported the checks back to the State of Ohio and deposited the checks in a U.S. Bank account she held in Ohio.

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.