Former Grady Hospital Payroll Director Sentenced for Embezzling from Grady
ATLANTA—Donald Thomas, the former payroll director for the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, was sentenced to seven years, three months in prison for stealing nearly half a million dollars from the longstanding public institution.
“As a result of the defendant’s embezzlement, Grady Hospital lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that otherwise would have gone towards patient care,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Grady has made monumental changes to restore its financial health, and Thomas used his position of trust at the hospital to harm these efforts simply for his own personal gain. Today he goes to prison.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “This sentencing is the price paid for stealing funds from a valued health care institution such as Grady Hospital. The FBI will continue to provide investigative assistance to help protect these institutions that give so much back to their community as Grady does.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From December 1994 through June 2011, Thomas served as Assistant Controller for Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation. Grady Hospital has provided health care to thousands of Atlanta-area residents – a large portion of whom are uninsured – for over one hundred years. It has long provided low-cost or free medical care to indigent patients.
While serving as payroll director, Thomas had nearly exclusive control over Grady’s payroll systems. For over three of those years, he falsified additional vacation pay and severance pay for former Grady employees and had the funds deposited into his own accounts. Because Thomas was careful about reversing his fraudulent changes to the payroll system and had most of the funds deposited into a business account, rather than his own, the scheme went undetected. Thomas was laid off in a workforce reduction in 2011, before the fraud was discovered.
Prior to leaving Grady in 2011, Thomas became less careful about covering his tracks, and as a result, some of the falsified pay was reported as income on the former employees’ federal W-2 tax forms. In early 2012, one of those employees noticed the inflated income amount and reported it to Grady. Further investigation led to the discovery of 136 fraudulent transactions in all. Over the course of the scheme, Thomas stole over $480,000.
Thomas, 55, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to seven years and three months in federal prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $482,851.76 in restitution to Grady Hospital. On December 5, 2014, a jury convicted Thomas of six counts of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, six counts of wire fraud, and two counts of bank fraud. At trial, witnesses from Grady explained how Thomas manipulated the payroll system, as well as the effect of the financial loss on Grady’s ability to provide medical services.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shanya Dingle and G. Scott Hulsey prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.