Former head of IT accused of stealing $800k from California health clinics

The former head of IT for North County Health Services, which offers healthcare services at clinics in San Diego County, is accused of stealing nearly $800,000 from the nonprofit organization over an eight-month period, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Prosecutors allege Hector Ramos, who was hired in January 2015 to lead North County Health Services' IT department, submitted false invoices to NCHS from two fraudulent corporations he created. He allegedly told employees in the purchasing department NCHS' computer system might shut down if the invoices were not paid promptly to create a sense of urgency, according to the report.

According to prosecutors, bank statements revealed Mr. Ramos spent the money obtained from NCHS on international vacations, wine, cigars, clothing and a luxury vehicle, according to the report.

Mr. Ramos, who faces 49 counts related to the loss of money, pleaded not guilty on Friday. He faces up to 36 years in state prison if convicted of all charges, according to the report.

In addition to the criminal case, NCHS' insurance company sued Mr. Ramos in July for nearly $800,000. That lawsuit is pending.

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