ST. LOUIS (AP) – The former CEO of a southeast Missouri health care center has pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud.
Cheryl Ann White, 56, was chief executive officer of the nonprofit Southeast Missouri Health Network from 2004 to 2013. The community health center serves six Bootheel counties with offices in Benton, Bernie, Kennett, Matthews, New Madrid, Portageville, Senath and Sikeston.
Prosecutors say the New Madrid resident falsified five annual reports and as many as 40 federal grant applications to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and used health center money to pay for a roof on a building she owned. She also admitted providing insider information to a contractor who built the center’s Bernie clinic, even though his work on several other projects led to leaking roofs and cracked concrete slabs.
White then received kickback payments disguised as loans from that unnamed co-conspirator, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.
She also admitted selling a building and a trailer to the health center without disclosing her ownership; using center money to purchase gifts for a relative and issuing checks to center employees, who then gave her cash back.
White faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines after Monday’s plea in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Sentencing is scheduled for late July. She pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to submit false documents.
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