FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
November 3, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THREE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES INDICTED IN REFERRAL BONUS FRAUD SCHEME
Over $317,000 in Phony Referral Bonuses Obtained
BALTIMORE, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Paula Anderson, age 39, her mother Carlet Clemons, age 59, and Michael Venable, age 31, all of Baltimore, in a scheme to defraud the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Employee Referral Program, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned yesterday and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants.
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) had a program whereby bonuses were paid to current employees for each new employee they recruited and referred. The referral bonuses were intended to reward existing employees who actually recruited new employees.
According to the six-count indictment, beginning in January 17, 2003 through January 18, 2006, Paula Anderson, who worked in the UMMC Human Resources Department as an administrative assistant, facilitated the payment of employee bonus referrals to work associates, including Carlet Clemons and Michael Venable, who worked in the UMMC Support Operations Department as dispatch coordinators, and others, who were otherwise unqualified to receive such bonuses. Clemons, Venable and others would keep a portion of each referral bonus and give the rest to Paula Anderson. From 2003 to 2005 UMMC paid approximately $1.47 million in employee referral bonuses, of which about $317,811 was obtained fraudulently. The indictment further alleges that on January 18, 2006 Paula Anderson obstructed the investigation by delaying the communication of information relevant to the case to an investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Seven individuals have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme by claiming to have referred new employees in order to receive referral bonuses, when in fact they did not know the new employees.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge and 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count of theft of government funds. Paula Anderson also faces five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for obstructing the investigation.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the University of Maryland Medical System for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg who is prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedNovember 3, 2006