Lutz Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
TAMPA—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Patricia M. Syling (44, Lutz) yesterday pleaded guilty to wire fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. As part of her plea agreement, Syling also agreed to forfeit a residence in Lutz.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents, Syling gained employment in October 2007 with Citrus Health Care Inc. (CHC), a health maintenance organization located in Tampa. Her title was director of Compliance. To secure the position with CHC, Syling used a false name (Patricia Dunne) and other false personal information in her CHC employment application, including a false Social Security number, prior work history, and education history. Syling used the false information because at the time, she was under federal indictment in the District of Hawaii, charged with eight counts of mail fraud.
Shortly after securing employment at CHC, Syling opened a bank account at Regions Bank in the name of Health Solutions Group LLC (HSG), a company created and controlled by her. Thereafter, she created fraudulent documentation to support bogus invoices submitted by HSG and other like-sounding names to CHC, which Syling then approved for payment. For example, in July 2007, using her position at CHC and still posing as Patricia Dunne, Syling provided fraudulent information to a member of the CHC Board of Directors in order to cause that person to initiate an interstate wire transfer of $395,000 from CHC’s SunTrust bank account to the HSG bank account controlled by the Syling at Regions Bank. Syling then used a portion of the proceeds from the wire transfer to purchase a home in Lutz, Florida.
In March 2009, Syling pleaded guilty to the eight mail fraud charges in the District of Hawaii. On June 3, 2009, she was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. She was released in June 2013. A superseding indictment was returned in the Middle District of Florida case in July 2013.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.