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Ex Hospital General Counsel Embezzled $1.7M, FBI Says

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 22, 2011 6:47 AM

A children's hospital embezzlement case has embroiled a former general counsel. Roosevelt Hairston, Jr. was the general counsel for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - until he was found to be embezzling $1.7 million from the non-profit organization.

Hairston was charged with the embezzlement of funds, and reportedly created fake companies and submitted phony receipts for expert witnesses and consulting services in his scheme, according to a FBI press release.

Hairston was a graduate of Temple University's Beasley School of Law. He worked for prominent Philadelphia law firms until he joined the Children's Hospital in 1997, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Hairston was charged on three counts for mail fraud, money laundering, and filing a false tax return.

The fraud was committed for years, from 1999 through 2011. Between 1999 and 2003, Hairston was in charge of the Children's Hospital's legal medical malpractice defense claims. During this period, Hairston submitted phony invoices for non-existent expert witnesses, or witnesses that had never provided any testimony on behalf of the hospital, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

After 2007, Hairston was in charge of community and government relations for the hospital. He started to submit phony receipts for consulting services, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Hairston used the money he embezzled to support a "lavish lifestyle" including purchasing real estate, a yacht, cars, and other items. Authorities are demanding that he give up all the property he got from the thefts, up to a total of $1.7 million, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why Hairston even needed to embezzle money from the hospital to support a lavish lifestyle seems a bit of a mystery - most Americans would likely be jealous of his annual paycheck, totaling more than $700,000 a year in 2009, reports the Inquirer.

Hairston's attorney says that his client would be entering a guilty plea to the charges stemming from the Children's Hospital embezzlement, reports the ABA Journal. Hairston's attorney stressed that his client should not be judged "by one series of bad acts alone," reports the Inquirer.

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