FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 5, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEADER IN BONUS REFERRAL FRAUD SCHEME AT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER SENTENCED TO PRISON
Received Over $317,000 in Phony Referral Bonuses
BALTIMORE, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Paula Anderson, age 39, of Baltimore, today to18 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release, one year of which is to be served in home detention with electronic monitoring, in connection with her leadership role 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. Judge Bennett also ordered Anderson to pay restitution of $317,811.18.
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. Human resource personnel were excluded from eligibility for the recruitment bonuses. According to her plea agreement, Anderson was an administrative assistant in the Human Resources Department at UMMS and thus ineligible to receive referral bonuses. Beginning in 2003, Anderson asked 11 other employees if she could use their names as referrals for new employees unknown to them in order to receive referral bonuses. One-half to two-thirds of the bonuses for those phony referrals, which totaled $317,811.18, were usually kicked back to Anderson, although Anderson had neither recruited nor referred these new employees.
Other UMMC employees who have pleaded guilty to engaging in the fraud scheme include: Samantha White, age 33; Candice DeShields, age 26; Terre Barrett, age 34; Keith Dickerson, age 23; Lisa Guerrero, age 35; Michael Venable, age 31, all of Baltimore; Sandra Lowery, age 41, of Laurel, Maryland; and Kimberly Love, age 27, of Capitol Heights, Maryland. Anderson admitted in her plea agreement that she used their names as referrals and divided the $317,811 in fraudulently obtained bonuses with them.
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 thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.