Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ex-University Medical Center in Texas administrator Greg Bruce facing federal mail fraud charge

A former University Medical Center administrator who resigned 18 months ago amid an FBI investigation is facing a federal mail fraud charge, according to a document filed in U.S. District Court.

Federal prosecutors filed a one-count information on Monday, June 3, alleging that Robert Gregory “Greg” Bruce stole more than $9,700 from the hospital in 2011.

Bruce said he will appear in U.S. District Court Thursday to enter a guilty plea.

Prosecutors filed an information directly with the court as an alternative to taking a matter to the grand jury.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, UMC officials said results of the internal audit that resulted in Bruce’s December 2011 resignation indicated he might have been embezzling from the hospital over a period of several years.

“UMC identified approximately $735,000 that Mr. Bruce is believed to have embezzled,” the hospital’s written statement said.

Bruce issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying that he came forward and admitted to stealing money.

“Shortly before Christmas 2011, I informed my employers at UMC I had made serious mistakes and took funds which were not mine,” he said. “I resigned and voluntarily notified the US Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation about these actions.”

Bruce said he is continuing to cooperate with the Justice Department and FBI in their investigation.

“While I have disappointed many, I hope through full cooperation and candor with the Justice Department and others, I can begin repairing the damage I have caused,” he said.

According to the prosecutors’ information, Bruce created and submitted an $9,701.45 invoice on Jan. 3, 2011, from a fictitious company, B.R, Media Monitoring, to be paid by the hospital. UMC prepared the check and sent it to a post office box Bruce controlled on Jan. 12.

The loss was discovered in a internal audit in December 2011. David Allison, UMC’s president and chief executive officer, asked for Bruce’s resignation.

He was the hospital’s vice president for corporate services when he resigned.

The hospital’s leadership eliminated the position after Bruce resigned and divided the responsibilities among several directors and administrators, the statement said.

The statement also noted the hospital has increased its oversight of contract, vendor relations and credit card use.

Bruce joined UMC as a health unit coordinator in 1992 and was promoted several times before becoming vice president of corporate services in 2005.

According to A-J Media archives, Bruce served as 2005 board chairman of the local American Red Cross and was honored for his work with the organization when he was named 2005 Volunteer of the Year by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

He also was sourced as chairman of ListenLubbock, a political action committee, in a 2007 A-J Media article, and as president of the Heart of Lubbock Neighborhood Association in a 2008 article.

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