The former controller of the Federation of American Hospitals pleaded guilty on Jan. 10 to a single count of possession of falsely altered securities in connection with allegations that he embezzled more than $377,000 from the trade association. The controller, Doug Mairena, 40, of Falls Church, Va., admitted to embezzling the money between 2003 and 2005, when he left the federation to join the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. At deadline, Mairena could not be reached for comment. He faces up to 30 months in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 10. Mairena left the REIT association in December 2006. In a news release, the federations senior vice president and general counsel, Jeffrey Micklos, said, We had an unfortunate situation involving an abuse of trust. The matter was identified internally, reported immediately to our board, and corrective action was taken.
According to prosecutors, Mairena, who ran day-to-day financial operations at the federation, created duplicate checks to vendors and forged one of the duplicates for himself. When Mark Freeman, executive assistant to the federation chief financial officer, discovered the scheme, Mairena enlisted Freeman and paid him nearly $50,000 from the fraudulent checks. Freeman, 43, pleaded guilty to playing a role on Oct. 11, 2006. He faces a March 20 sentencing hearing. -- by Mark Taylor