Former Tennessee hospital employee accused of trying to steal more than $355K

A woman who worked in risk management at a Tennessee hospital is facing a federal indictment alleging she attempted to steal more than $355,000 from her employer and its insurer, news station WBBJ reported June 23.

Melanie Haste worked as a paralegal for Jackson-based West Tennessee Healthcare from January 2003 to 2008. She worked in risk management from January 2012 to June 1, 2020.

While an employee, she allegedly directed payments from company bank accounts and insurance proceeds and deposit amounts to be made to credit card accounts belonging to herself and family members, according to the indictment cited by WBBJ.

Ms. Haste also is accused of requesting adjustments to debt that her son owed West Tennessee Healthcare, according to the news station.

West Tennessee Healthcare Chief Compliance and Communications Officer Amy Garner said Jackson-Madison County General Hospital leadership was notified by a bank investigator of alleged misconduct by Ms. Haste on May 28.

"Leaders took immediate investigative and disciplinary actions and began cooperating with investigators," Ms. Garner said in a statement shared with Becker's, adding that Ms. Haste was officially fired June 1, 2020.

Ms. Haste's attorney, Daniel Taylor, told WBBJ Ms. Haste is released on bond.

"We encourage anyone who suspects fraud or abuse to report it immediately through our compliance hotline and other reporting mechanisms, and we continue to work internally to strengthen financial controls to ensure this kind of incident does not occur in the future," Ms. Garner said.

According to the news station, Ms. Haste is facing seven counts related to allegations she attempted to steal a total of $355,541 from her employer and its insurer.

Read the full WBBJ story here.

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