Med staff director charged with embezzling $186K

Officials on Thursday charged the former medical staff services director of Princeton (N.J.) HealthCare System with stealing $186,000 over the course of a year and a half.

After the hospital system contacted the authorities in February, a three-month investigation found evidence that Jhoanna Engelhardt-Fullar allegedly pocketed the money from the Princeton HealthCare System medical staff account and spent it on Apple products and timeshare payments, among other purchases, according to a statement from the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. Between April 2010 and December 2011, Engelhardt-Fullar allegedly issued fraudulent checks to herself, transferred the med staff funds to her personal credit cards and made more than 130 unauthorized purchases on the account's debit card.

"We uncovered potential irregularities through an internal audit and brought this information to the Princeton police," Princeton HealthCare spokeswoman Carol Norris said in an email to NJ.com.  

The hospital terminated Engelhardt-Fullar in February.

Engelhardt-Fullar is charged with one count of second-degree theft by deception, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine.

The embezzlement charge against one of its former top directors unfortunately comes in what would have been a banner year for the health system, NJ.com noted. Princeton HealthCare System last Tuesday opened its new hospital, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, according to a hospital system announcement.

For more information:
- see the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office statement (.pdf)
- here's the NJ.com article
- see the Princeton HealthCare System announcement

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