Ex-hospital CFO heads to jail for grand theft

Bonner General Health's former CFO Norilina Harvel will spend 90 days in jail for embezzling more than $200,000 from the Standpoint, Idaho-based hospital.

Ms. Harvel was employed at BGH for 15 years — 10 of which she served as CFO. She left BGH in June 2014 to serve as CFO of a Colorado hospital, and financial discrepancies began to emerge within a month of Ms. Harvel's departure. From 2012 to 2014, she allegedly made unauthorized credit card charges and stole various sums of money from the hospital that were small enough to avoid detection. In addition, Ms. Harvel also allegedly took out a lease on a piece of medical equipment that the hospital never acquired and collected the proceeds.

Hospital officials accused Ms. Harvel of embezzling $220,000, and she was charged with grand theft last fall. She was scheduled to be tried on the felony charge in May, but Ms. Harvel began plea negotiations with prosecutors before the trial was underway. Under the plea agreement, Ms. Harvel will serve 90 days in jail. The agreement also calls for the conviction to be removed from Ms. Harvel's record if she completes five years of probation and pays $217,075 in restitution, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee.

After Ms. Harvel's sentence was announced, Bonner General Health CEO Sheryl Rickard said, "We would have liked a longer jail sentence however, it is more important that she pay back the funds she took from the hospital, which can only happen if she is working and not in a jail cell," according to the report.

Ms. Harvel has already repaid more than $150,000 of the $217,075 in restitution owed to the hospital, according to the report. 

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