News and Press Releases

Los Lunas Woman Sentenced to Prison for Federal Bank Fraud and Embezzlement Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning a federal judge sentenced Jolene Calderon, 35, of Los Lunas, N.M., to a 15-month term of imprisonment for her conviction on bank fraud and embezzlement in connection with health care charges. Calderon will be on supervised release for five years after completing her prison sentence. She also was ordered to pay $86,000.85 in restitution to the victims of her criminal conduct.
Calderon was indicted on Feb. 8, 2012, and charged with 82 counts of bank fraud and five counts of theft or embezzlement of funds from a health care benefit program. Calderon was employed as an analyst in Presbyterian Health Plan's (PHP) financial department and served as the treasurer of the Presbyterian Employees Goodwill Group (PEGG) at the time of the offenses charged in the indictment.

According to the indictment, between Oct. 2008 and May 2010, Calderon used her position as PEGG treasurer to commit bank fraud by diverting funds from the PEGG bank account to her own bank accounts or bank accounts she controlled. The indictment also alleged that, between Feb. 2010 and May 2010, Calderon embezzled funds belonging to Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS), a healthcare benefit program.

On June 22, 2012, Calderon pled guilty to Counts 1 and 83 of the indictment which charged her with bank fraud and embezzlement in connection with health care. In entering her guilty plea, Calderon admitted abusing her employment at PHP and her position as treasurer of PEGG to devise and execute an illegal scheme to obtain money from the PEGG account.

More specifically, Calderon admitted writing checks on the PEGG account to herself; forging the signatures of authorized account signers, and making false entries into the PEGG check registry to make it appear as if the checks had been written for legitimate PEGG purposes. Calderon fraudulently obtained an aggregate of $86,000.85 through 82 separate transactions over a 20-month period.

Calderon also admitted that, when the PEGG account began to run low, she replenished the account by embezzling funds belonging to PHS and depositing the funds into the PEGG bank account. Calderon misdirected checks intended for PHS into the PEGG bank account on five separate occasions and thus embezzled an aggregate of $31,867.23 in funds intended for a healthcare benefit program.

As required by Calderon’s plea agreement, the Court dismissed the remaining 85 counts of the indictment after imposing sentence on Calderon. Calderon is required to surrender to a federal correctional institution to be designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons within 60 days to begin serving her prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Paige Messec.

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