News and Press Releases

MADISON WOMAN ADMITS MAKING
FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2012

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that AMY KUHNER, 55, formerly of Madison, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of making false statements about her use of federal funds.

According to court documents and statements made in court, KUHNER was the Executive Director of Sunshine House, an organization formed for the purpose of constructing a facility in Madison to care for seriously ill children.  In September 2001, Sunshine House received an $836,190 federal grant to pay part of the construction costs of the center from the Health Resources Services Administration (“HRSA”), a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  As Executive Director of Sunshine House, KUHNER was the only person who handled the grant money and exercised exclusive control over the use of the grant funds.

In July 2007, after all of the grant funds had been drawn down, HRSA asked Sunshine House to provide documentation of costs incurred by Sunshine House during the grant period.  In pleading guilty, KUHNER admitted sending to HRSA documents that falsely stated that Sunshine House had incurred architectural and engineering costs to date in the amount of $594,225.  The documents also omitted the fact that, from September 2001 through September 2006, KUHNER had received a gross salary of $417,932 and health insurance benefits totaling $22,294, and that most of this salary and benefits had been paid using grant funds.

In addition, KUHNER used grant funds to pay her salary in 2007 and 2008, after the grant had closed.
KUHNER is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on October 15, 2012, at which time KUHNER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This investigation was conducted by special agents from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Sheldon.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

 

 

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