Ex-hospital CFO's grand theft trial delayed as lawyers work to resolve case

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

Standpoint, Idaho-based Bonner General Health's former CFO Norilina Harvel was scheduled to be tried on a felony charge of grand theft in May, but plea negotiations are delaying the trial, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee.

Ms. Harvel was employed at BGH for 15 years — 10 of which she served as CFO — before leaving the hospital in June 2014 to take a CFO position at Montrose (Colo.) Memorial Hospital. She no longer holds that job.

From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Harvel allegedly made unauthorized credit card charges and stole various sums of money from BGH that were small enough to avoid detection. Ms. Harvel also allegedly took out a lease on a piece of medical equipment that the hospital never acquired and collected the proceeds.

A warrant for Ms. Harvel's arrest was issued in September, and she was booked, fingerprinted and released on bond in October. She is accused of embezzling approximately $220,000 from the hospital.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers jointly asked the court to postpone the May trial date, as they are still involved in plea negotiations and could possibly resolve the matter without a trial.

"Due to the financial issues in the case, additional time is needed to determine the specific details," said Craig Zanetti, Ms. Harvel's defense lawyer, in a motion to postpone the trial.

Ms. Harvel was earning a low six-figure salary when she was CFO of BGH, and a motive for the alleged thefts remains unexplained in court records, according to the report.

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