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May 5, 2014

Embezzler gets 2-year prison sentence

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

BUFFALO — Linda Rakonczay will spend the next 24 months in prison.

The former Medina Memorial Hospital employee was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court. She also was ordered to pay $499,563 in restitution to Orleans Community Health and $93,999 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

Rakonczay, 58, of Middleport, is the former payroll coordinator at Medina Memorial Hospital. This past January she pleaded guilty to two felonies, wire fraud and tax fraud.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini Ross, from 2001 to 2012, Rakonczay prepared and submitted reports to the hospital's bank instructing the bank to send money electronically from the corporate account to her personal account. The transfers added up to $499,563.

Rakonczay originally denied the allegation in early 2013, but the investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo, the FBI and the IRS, proved otherwise.

Her guilty plea included language committing her to reimburse OCH and pay back taxes on funds embezzled from 2007 to 2012. That's as far back as the government can go due to the statute of limitations in such cases, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Rakonczay worked for OCH from 1990 to 2012. From the time the illegal transfers began, in order to cover up the money leaving the hospital, Rakonczay "increased the amount expensed to OCH's healthcare insurance account by the amount that she stole," and did not pay herself during the months of the hospital's annual audit, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny presided over the case.

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