John Paul Funes, the former chief fundraiser for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, appeared this morning in U.S Court for the Middle District and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with his alleged embezzlement of $550,000 from the OLOL Foundation, which he headed for more than a decade.
According to court documents filed earlier this month by the U.S. Attorney, Funes’ alleged scheme involved filling out fraudulent payment vouchers—which required no approval from his supervisors at OLOL— for charter flights, cash and gift cards he misrepresented were intended to pay for medical care and expenses for Children’s Hospital patients. Instead, prosecutors say, he used the money and perks for himself, friends and family.
Funes’ attorney, former U.S. Attorney Walt Green, said in a statement that Funes’ pleas are another step in the continuing process of taking full responsibility for his actions.
“John Paul remains extremely remorseful for the impact his past actions have had on the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center & Foundation, the community and his family & friends.” Green’s statement continues. “He will continue to cooperate with all law enforcement agencies and plans to make full restitution.”
As Daily Report reported Tuesday, at least $107,000 also went to the mother and sister of former LSU quarterback Rohan Davey, though they later repaid more than half the money.
Today’s plea could carry a prison sentence of three or so years for Funes, though he was not sentenced today.