D.A. meets with OLOL over audit in Funes case

Funes

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore met with officials at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center this morning to review the findings of an independent audit into the alleged embezzlement of $810,000 in hospital foundation funds by the hospital’s former chief fundraiser, John Paul Funes.

Moore says the audit, prepared by Deloitte after a months-long investigation by the accounting firm into the hospital’s books, contained little new information about the embezzlement scheme, save for a few details.

“There’s not much we haven’t seen before,” says Moore, who confirms neither state nor federal investigators have yet to interview Funes.

OLOL officials issued a statement about the audit on March 14, after first presenting the findings to its various boards. Though the statement offered an exact dollar amount of funds allegedly stolen by Funes, it contained no other information about how the crime was committed, what kinds of deficiencies in hospital processes and procedures Deloitte identified, how it plans to address those problems, and whether any higher-ups at the hospital would be disciplined for failing to catch the scheme over the course of several years.

After repeated attempts to get answers to those questions, a hospital spokesman said Monday OLOL has no additional information at this time.

As for the criminal investigation, the D.A. cannot say when the investigation will conclude because there are still several outstanding subpoenas for documents that investigators need to comb through before they can question Funes and decide what charges to bring.

Moore plans to meet with U.S. Attorney for the Middle District Brandon Fremin to determine whether federal or state charges should be brought against Funes.

“We have to discuss how to proceed and who will bring charges,” he says.

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