A former chief financial officer of George L. Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, Calif., paid his personal credit card account with hospital funds for at least a year before he was fired in 2004, according to federal prosecutors who charged him Monday with wire fraud.
Richard Wheat set up an automatic pay arrangement between the 68-bed hospitals bank account and his credit card, misappropriating about $96,000, according to the U.S. attorneys office in San Francisco. The hospital unwittingly paid his tab at Kragen Auto Parts, DirecTV, Costco, Expedia, KFC, Mens Wearhouse and other businesses, and also made a contribution to his church, prosecutors allege in a court document.
Wheat, 51, is scheduled to appear before a judge Sept. 20. The maximum penalty for the charge is 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, plus restitution. Mee spokeswoman Liz Syer said she could not comment on the case. -- by Gregg Blesch