A former accountant of the Saint Luke Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., has pleaded guilty to fraud for stealing a half million dollars during more than a decade of swindling. The foundation is an arm of the St. Luke’s Hospital and Health System.
Kathleen Frederico, 51, faces 20 years in prison without parole after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal District Court for the Western District of Missouri. She allegedly spent the money, the two related schemes, on online pharmacy purchases, shopping, travel and general expenses. Prosecutors charged that the thefts occurred between June 2013 and March 2017. She was fired 11 months later.
Frederico admitted in court to making unauthorized checks payable to herself and creating fake invoices to hide the theft. She also created unauthorized checks with which she paid her credit card bill and relatives.
The thefts totaled $557,675, according to prosecutors.
The foundation released a statement after the pleading. “Results of an independent forensic audit commissioned by Saint Luke’s Foundation leadership in 2018 revealed potential financial misconduct by a former Foundation employee. These findings were reported promptly to the appropriate authorities. While their investigation got underway, we partnered with auditors and forensic accounting experts to ensure best practices in financial management and oversight were firmly in place. Today, we extend our gratitude to law enforcement for their support and diligent efforts on our behalf, and thank them for the successful resolution of this case.”