Florida Woman Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud in LSU Health Sciences Center Bribery Scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. –United StatesAttorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a Florida woman pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with a bribery scheme involving a former staff member at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC).
Rita M. Myler, 52, of Miramar Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Court Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to one count of mail fraud. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Myler paid LSUHSC’s Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) laboratory assistant director Anthony Roggero kickbacks so that he would continue buying products from her company Sangre Biologicals. From July 2001 to July 2008, Myler mailed cash kickbacks to Roggero’s residence after LSUHSC would make a payment to her company. Sangre Biologicals received more than $540,000 from LSUHSC during the course of the scheme. The HLA laboratory played a critical support role for solid organ and bone marrow transplants, performing cross matching and tissue typing analyses. A former director of the HLA laboratory sought and obtained authority for Roggero to purchase up to $5,000 in Sangre products per month.
Myler faces up to 20 years in prison, five years supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. A sentencing date of January 26, 2015 was set. Roggero pleaded guilty on October 31, 2012 to one count of mail fraud for his role. Roggero’s sentencing date is November 10, 2014.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan is prosecuting the case.