Hospital financial officer arrested for embezzlement

A former hospital financial officer this week was arrested and charged with stealing a quarter of a million dollars from Colorado's Valley View Hospital and another employee, who happens to be her daughter-in-law, according to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Valley View Hospital's former director of revenue cycle, Lisa Dawn Mack, turned herself in to authorities Monday. She is accused of stealing a total of nearly $226,000 from the hospital and from another employee, Donna Michelle Sandel. Mack allegedly stole more than $178,000 in unauthorized mileage reimbursements and overpayments made to Sandel and at least $47,600 from her daughter-in-law.

In February 2009, Valley View Hospital hired Sandel as a contract business consultant at $2,750 per week, but she was earning a contract rate of $3,600 per week by September 2010. Mack told Sandel the payments were too high and had to be paid back and that she would handle the repayments, according to Sandel's account to police. In addition, Mack allegedly offered to take cash from Sandel to be placed in a special account for Sandel's income taxes, but Sandel never received income-tax refunds that Mack promised, Sandel said. In February, after receiving a notice from the Internal Revenue Service that she owed taxes, Sandel went to the police.

During an audit, investigators found that the hospital paid Sandel about $482,000 as a contractor, although she turned over nearly half of that to Mack, according to police.

Mack had been arrested before in 1995 for theft in Texas. Police reported that she had credit card debts of approximately $95,000.

Mack was released from jail Monday on a $100,000 bond. She could face 96 years in prison, if convicted, according to another Post Independent article.

For more information:
- read the Post Independent article on the arrest and another article on the bond release

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