Ex-employee accused of stealing $1M from Idaho health system

A woman who worked in accounts receivable during most of her 22-year career with Boise, Idaho-based Saint Alphonsus Health System is accused of using her position to defraud the health system of $1 million, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Lois Soito was indicted Aug. 14 by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of wire fraud, according to the Department of Justice. The indictment alleges that Ms. Soito used several methods to defraud Saint Alphonsus Health System between 2005 and January 2019.

Ms. Soito allegedly collected and kept checks intended for the health system rather than depositing them in the appropriate account. She's also accused of depositing checks into the health system's Employee Support Team bank account and then writing checks from the account payable to herself. In one case in June 2018, Ms. Soito allegedly deposited an Employee Support Team check for more than $21,000 into her bank account.

The indictment further alleges that Ms. Soito kept cash she collected from the Festival of Trees fundraiser instead of depositing it into the proper bank account.

The indictment stems from an investigation by the FBI and the Boise Police Department, which was prompted by information uncovered by Saint Alphonsus Health System, according to the Justice Department.

"When the concerns of financial impropriety that form the basis for the criminal charges initially came to Saint Alphonsus' attention, we took immediate action, including reporting the concerns to law enforcement and working cooperatively with law enforcement during its investigation," the health system said in a statement to CBS 2.

Ms. Soito pleaded not guilty to the wire fraud charges, according to The Associated Press. The maximum punishment for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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