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New Freedom woman sentenced for embezzling $4.3 million from former employer

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A New Freedom woman who embezzled more than $4 million from her former employer was sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

Donna Marie Wozniak, 57, was sentenced Tuesday to 71 months in prison and three years’ probation by United States District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, according to a new release issued by the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. 

Wozniak was fired from Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center in November 2014 after admitting to having stolen $4.3 million from the company, the release said.

In August of 2017, Wozniak pleaded guilty to one felony count of embezzlement in connection with health care and one felony count of attempt to evade or defeat tax. She stole the money from January of 2008 to November of 2014, court records show.

During sentencing, Wozniak said she stole the money because of her gambling addiction, the release stated.

Wozniak must report to serve her sentence on May 21. In addition, she must pay a total of $5,587,026.13 in restitution to Susquehanna Valley and the IRS, among others, court records stated.

Created false invoices

Wozniak worked as the business manager at Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center in Lower Paxton Township from 2000 through 2014. As part of Wozniak’s job duties, she reviewed invoices from vendors of the surgery center and decided when and how much each vendor would be paid, the release continued.

During a forensic audit of the surgery center’s financial records, investigators discovered that Wozniak made some of the surgery center checks payable to herself and that she cashed or deposited a total of $4.3 million using multiple bank accounts. To conceal the theft, she then created false invoices from legitimate surgery center vendors, according to the release.

“All income is taxable, no matter what the source of the income,” special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation Guy Ficco, said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing should serve as a deterrent to others who might consider attempting a similar scheme in the future.”

Wozniak's attorney Jed Silversmith from Philadelphia-based law firm Blank Rome LLP, declined to comment.

Officials from Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center were not immediately available for comment.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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