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Hospital finance director indicted in $3 million embezzlement scheme

Former High Point Regional Hospital director allegedly used cash to buy BMW and other luxury goods through wire fraud, ID theft and other means.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Credit: High Point Regional Health SystemCredit: High Point Regional Health System

The former director of finance for North Carolina's High Point Regional Hospital in December was indicted on charges she stole more than $3 million from the hospital over 14 years, federal documents show. Kimberly Russell Hobson allegedly used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle, that included luxury vehicles purchased for herself and for use by family and friends, gold coins and many other items.

Hobson worked in the hospital finance department and eventually rose to the rank of Director. The thefts are alleged to have taken place between January 1, 2003 and August 15, 2017. She is charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated ID theft and one count of possession of forged securities.

The indictment alleges that Hobson used a hospital subsidiary MedVentures, also known as Regional Physicians, as the payers in her scheme, executing wire transfers, unauthorized and forged checks in the subsidiaries' names drawn from multiple financial institutions and depositing the money into accounts she controlled. The indictment also said Hobson obtained and used credit cards in the name of MedVentures, and used funds transferred from hospital business accounts to Capital One and other credit card companies to pay for personal purchases and expenses. Hobson also caused unauthorized wire transfers and automated clearing house, or ACH transfers from hospital accounts to be applied toward loans that were in her name, the indictment said.

Hobson did not have signature authority on any of the bank accounts used by MedVentures and Regional Physicians.

The indictment listed numerous specific transactions, including one from December 4, 2015 wherein Hobson presented under "fraudulent pretenses" a check payable to cash, drawn on a bank account used for hospital business, for $37,980.50 to a Wells Fargo account. The check  contained a forged signature.

Another transaction described involved a wire and an ACH transfer for $22,260.09 from a hospital subsidiary account at Bank of North Carolina in the name of MedVentures and Regional Physicians to a Wells Fargo account in the name of Kimberly Russell Hobson, which was purported to represent payment to a person with the initials D.T.

If convicted of the numerous charges, Hobson will be forced to forfeit $3.8 million, a 2014 BMW M5 vehicle and a 2013 Harley Davidson. She must also forfeit personal property in cash in her possession at the time of her arrest as well as several Louis Vuitton items: a handbag, cosmetic bag, sunglasses case and wallet containing various credit cards, as well as two Mont Blanc pens and a pearl necklace.

High Point Regional Hospital had not returned a call for comment at the time this article was published.

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