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A New Freedom-area woman who embezzled $4.3 million from a Harrisburg surgery center has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison.

Donna Marie Wozniak, 57, appeared in Harrisburg's federal court on Tuesday, April 10, where she was sentenced to 71 months in prison, followed by three years of probation, according to federal court records.

During her sentencing hearing, she said a gambling addiction caused her to embezzle the money, federal officials said.

She pleaded guilty in federal court Aug. 14 to theft/embezzlement in connection with health care and also to tax evasion, according to court records.

Wozniak, of East Tolna Road in Shrewsbury Township, was ordered to pay about $4.3 million in restitution to her former employer, Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center in Harrisburg.

She also was ordered to pay about $1.3 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Court records state Wozniak failed to report the $4.3 million she stole as taxable income and therefore underpaid the IRS by $1.3 million.

Wozniak was business manager for the surgery center from 2000 through 2014.

The scheme: Between 2008 and 2014, she obtained blank checks purportedly to use to pay vendors of the surgery center, according to a news release from Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.

She would make some of the blank checks payable to herself and cashed $4.3 million worth of them using "multiple" bank accounts that she maintained, according to the news release.

To hide her embezzlement, Wozniak created fake invoices from actual vendors of the surgery center and also falsified entries into accounting software maintained by the surgery center, according to Mayko.

She was fired in November 2014 when her thefts came to light, Mayko's release states.

Wozniak did not answer her phone on Tuesday afternoon, and a call to her Philadelphia-based defense attorney, Jed Silversmith, was not immediately returned.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

 

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