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Former UPMC health plan exec slapped with two-year federal prison sentence for embezzlement

Ronald Locy put his wife and nanny on the UPMC payroll even though neither woman ever worked for the system, authorities say.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Former UPMC claims director Ronald Locy will spend about two years in federal prison and has been ordered to pay an estimated $846,000 in restitution as well, roughly the amount he admitted to stealing from the Pennsylvania system over the course of an eight-year embezzlement scheme.

Locy was the senior director at UPMC Health Plan Claims from 2010 until the system fired him in 2014. The embezzlement scheme start in 2005, when Locy admitted he put his wife on the system's payroll as a "ghost employee" who was working from home. Following the death of Locy's young daughter, he later added on their nanny though neither woman ever did any work for the system, according to the U.S. Attorney's office and a local report.

Locy's wife was paid wages and bonuses totaling $785,145. The addition of the nanny cost UPMC an additional $62,000, the report said. Neither Locy's wife nor the nanny were charged in the case.

Locy pleaded guilty to one embezzlement count in January. The guideline range of 30 to 37 months, but the presiding judge handed down the two-year sentence after rejecting Locy's plea for probation. That plea had been based on his contention that he was under duress due to the significant medical needs of his daughter, who suffered from a neurological condition. Locy's daughter died in 2012.

However the judge pointed out that the crime was lengthy at eight years long, sophisticated, and that Locy falsified records, altered emails and concealed his activities. The judge posited that his crime was not likely the result of "extreme stress" and called the sentence "appropriate," the report noted.

In total, Locy stole $846,819 from UPMC, and has been ordered to pay that amount back in restitution. The judge allowed Locy to self-report to the U.S. Marshal Service in his current home state of Washington State by May 4.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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