Husband and Wife Indicted in Connection with Stealing Approximately $500,000 From Partners Healthcare
Allegedly Used Stolen Funds To Make Personal Purchases Including Cell Phones, GPS Devices, DVDs, And Cameras
A Norfolk County Grand Jury returned indictments yesterday against Carol Peterson, age 59, on charges of Larceny over $250 by Scheme (2 counts), False Entries in Corporate Books (2 counts) and Conspiracy. Carol's husband, Robert Peterson, age 66, was indicted on charges of Larceny over $250 by Scheme and Conspiracy.
"We allege that the two defendants abused a position of trust and access within the company to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars and use that money for their own personal benefit," AG Coakley said. "We want to commend the company for referring this matter to our office and working cooperatively to get the full facts."
In July 2010, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the alleged activities were discovered by Carol Peterson's former employer. For several years, Mrs. Peterson was the executive director of two medical practices affiliated with Partners Community Healthcare, Inc. (PCHI), a division of Partners Healthcare. Her job duties included the review and approval for payment of invoices received by these two medical practices. Authorities allege that Mr. and Mrs. Peterson stole approximately $450,000 from PCHI by creating and submitting fraudulent invoices from three companies they secretly controlled.
Investigators discovered that Mr. Peterson created three distinct companies and opened bank accounts and PO Boxes for each. Mrs. Peterson would then allegedly submit and approve fraudulent invoices for payment for goods and services that were never provided to PCHI by these three companies. Authorities allege that Mr. Peterson withdrew much of the stolen money from the bank accounts in cash, and that both he and his wife used the funds for their own personal purposes.
Investigators also discovered that Mrs. Peterson stole approximately $36,000 from her employer in another scheme in which she deceived the company into paying for personal purchases she made.
Among the purchases that investigators allege Mrs. Peterson made with the stolen funds include:
- Cell phones
- GPS devices
- Office supplies
She claimed in the fraudulent invoices that these purchased items were business related. In many cases Mrs. Peterson allegedly altered the invoices to hide the descriptions of the actual items she purchased and she would sometimes include her purchases with legitimate business purchases in order to conceal the personal purchases.
Yesterday, a Norfolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against both Carol and Robert Peterson. They are both scheduled to be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General David Waterfall, and was investigated by Financial Investigators Taylor Glynn and Jessie Dean, all of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division. Massachusetts State Police also assisted with the investigation. Partners Healthcare cooperated fully with the Attorney General's investigation.