Former CEO of Miami Beach Community Health Center Sentenced in $6 Million Scam
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 13, 2013|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), announced the sentencing of defendant Kathryn Abbate, 64, of Hollywood, Florida, to 42 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
According to the factual proffer, the defendant served as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Miami Beach Community Health Center (the center) from 2002 to mid-2012. The center was a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) during this time and was a community-based organization providing medical care to persons regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. As an FQHC, the center received millions of dollars of federal funding each year from 2008 to 2012.
According to the factual proffer, from about 2008 through May 2012, Abbate embezzled money from the center in a number of ways. First, Abbate caused the center to pay her non-accrued vacation pay and other forms of compensation, totaling more than $3 million from between 2008 and 2012. Second, Abbate embezzled money from the Center by causing non-payroll checks to be issued payable to her. Specifically, from 2007 to 2012, Abbate caused the Center to disburse approximately 837 checks made payable to her totaling approximately $3 million for purported “community development.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and HHS-OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Michael N. Berger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.