Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tennessee Woman Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Texas Medical Center Of More Than $850K; Accomplice Expected To Plead Guilty Next Week

Sheri Lynn Mitchell, 48, of Cleveland, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to her role in an embezzlement scheme involving Hendrick Medical Center, dba Hendrick Health Services, of Abilene, Texas. Mitchell was the owner/operator of Physician Source, a physician recruiting business. Her accomplice in the scheme, Laura Cullars Minor, 52, of Abilene, Texas is a former employee of the medical center and is expected to plead guilty next week, according to reports. The pair is accused of embezzling at least $850,000 from the company over a five year period. According to prosecutors, Mitchell would submit false invoices to Minor for services not performed, who would then approve the invoices and receive a kickback from Mitchell. Minor was employed as director of physician recruiting and received nearly $300,000 in kickbacks from Mitchell, according to prosecutors. The two were originally indicted in October 2008 on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and health care fraud, eleven counts of mail fraud and aiding and abetting, and eleven counts of theft in connection with health care. Mitchell has several aliases, including Sheri Samuels and Sheri Dawes.

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