Friday, November 6, 2009

Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $237K From Health Benefit Company

Nicole Stepney Turner, 34, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to charges she embezzled $237,638.54 from CareFirst, a health benefit provider affiliated with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, for whom she had been employed as a billing and enrollment technician. Prosecutors alleged that Turner caused 84 checks to be issued from CareFirst to 10 conspirators, including her husband, Melvin Turner, 36, who has also been charged in this case, but remains at large. The conspirators then cashed the checks and kicked back most of the proceeds to the Turners, according to prosecutors. Four other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty in the case. Nicole Turner faces up to 10 years in prison, plus restitution and fines.

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Update (3/5/10): Stepney Turner was sentenced to 2 years in prison plus 2 years of supervised release for her role in the embezzlement of nearly a quarter of a million dollars from CareFirst, where she had been employed in the billing department. Five co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and been sentenced and Melvin Turner is in federal custody awaiting trial. Three other conspirators in the scheme have been charged, but remain fugitives.

Update (3/25/10): Melvin Turner pleaded guilty yesterday to embezzlement from a health care benefit program.

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