Bookkeeper Sentenced to Six Months Incarceration for Embezzling Money from a Health Care Benefit Program
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that on May 5, 2010, Cheri Ray, of Wasilla, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to six months in prison for her conviction for embezzling money from a health care benefit program.
Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline imposed the sentence on Ray, age 38.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Aunnie Steward, who prosecuted the case, the following facts provided the basis for Ray’s guilty plea: From March 2003, through August 2006, while employed as a bookkeeper for a doctors’ office receiving health care benefits, Ray embezzled and stole approximately $75,000. Ray used many methods to embezzle and steal the money from Alaska Kidney Center (the Center), including, but not limited to, the following: 1) Ray obtained a credit card in her name that was billed to the Center and used the card to make personal purchases, including buying airplane tickets for her family, paying a deposit on a new truck, and purchasing personal computers for her household, among others; 2) Ray withdrew cash from ATMs on the office credit card; 3) Ray issued and negotiated duplicate paychecks to herself; 4) Ray paid personal bills with electronic transfers of funds from the company’s accounts; 5) Ray paid herself un-earned over time; and 5) Ray made payments from the company’s accounts to her personal accounts.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Beistline stated that it was an abuse of trust for Ray to steal money from her employers who had trusted her to manage the office. He also took note of Ray’s significant efforts to pay restitution prior to sentencing and ordered the remainder of restitution owed to be paid by Ray.
Ms. Loeffler commended the Anchorage Police Department Financial Crimes Unit, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Ray.