The former director of fiscal services for the St. Louis Shriners Hospital for Children pleaded guilty to stealing at least $828,000 from the hospital.
Robert Steven Brodzin, 41, faces as many as 20 years in prison and could be fined as much as $250,000 when hes sentenced Nov. 7. According to U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, Brodzin used the money to buy luxury cars, a condo in Florida, trips to Las Vegas and golf- and health-club memberships.
As the scheme is described in information Hanaways office filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, Brodzin created three phony companies and established them as Shriners vendors, steering payment on their invoices directly to him. He also collected payment on checks drawn from a trust account set up by a donor to cover the services of non-Shriners specialists, and he secretly added himself as an authorized user of a hospital credit card and obtained his own card, which he used for personal expenses.
Our employees take very seriously the responsibility of being excellent stewards of the funds entrusted to us, John OShaughnessy, administrator for the St. Louis hospital, said in a written statement. It is unfortunate that one individual behaved in a way that is entirely contrary to the core values that our 6,000 employees believe in and live every day. Shriners fired Brodzin in May, when the hospital discovered what was going on and reported it to the FBI, a spokeswoman said. His lawyer did not return a call requesting comment before the deadline for this story. -- by Gregg Blesch