U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri
August 20, 2014

CEO of Local Visiting Nurse Care Provider Sentenced on Fraud Charges

ST. LOUIS, MO—Susan Winebarger was sentenced to thirty-eight (38) months’ imprisonment for embezzling more than $600,000 from company accounts, and falsifying documents to conceal the embezzlement. Winebarger was also ordered to pay restitution of $699,897 to the company.

According to court documents, Winebarger was Chief Financial Officer, then Chief Executive Officer of VNA-TIP of Bridgeton, Missouri. VNA-TIP provides visiting nurse care, hospice care and related patient care service in Missouri and Illinois. In this capacity, she ran the day to day business and financial operations of VNA-TIP, including reconciling bank statements and having full access to bank checks for the company’s operating and payroll accounts. Winebarger also directly coordinated payments to the outside Administrator for VNA-TIP’s employee 401(k) plan. Between January 2008 and December 2013, Winebarger embezzled approximately $600,000 from VNA-TIP accounts. Without company authority, Winebarger issued more than two hundred (200) checks to herself from both the operating account and its payroll account and deposited those checks into her personal bank accounts, and used the company debit card to purchase personal items. In order to conceal her scheme she made sure she received all the bank account statements, which she altered for submission to VNA-TIP auditors. She also falsified internal financial reports, including monthly profit and loss statements submitted to the shareholders and board members. Winebarger failed to remit moneys withheld from VNA-TIP employees’ paychecks for their individual 401 (K) retirement accounts to the plan administrator so that the cash reserves would be falsely inflated in order that VNA-TIP shareholders, board members and auditors would not be aware of the true financial status of the company and potentially discover her theft and embezzlement. She also failed to remit state and federal withholding taxes, social security, and Medicare funds.

Winebarger, 49, Highland, IL, pled guilty to two felony counts of wire fraud in May and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge John A. Ross.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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