A Memorial Hermann Healthcare System manager in charge of the hospital's printing and mail services is facing mail fraud and wire fraud charges based on allegations that he stole more than $9 million from the hospital over a period of 14 years.
A complaint filed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's major fraud unit alleges that Kenneth J. Wild II of Katy, Texas, submitted more than 200 fake invoices to the hospital from an entity called Digital Designs for materials that were never provided.
The investigation was initiated by an anonymous letter sent on March 11, 2015, to the hospital's chief audit and compliance officer that read, “Please investigate the check payable to Digital Designs. I heard it is an anomalous, ghost account.” In following up, hospital officials could not find any evidence of work requested from Digital Designs or any products that were delivered.
A postal inspector notified the U.S. Attorney's Office on March 13, 2015, and an investigation was opened. Investigators discovered that Wild was listed as contact for Digital Designs, and was also the owner of the bank account where the hospital's checks were deposited.
The bank account was identified as a “pass through” account for expenditures by Wild for credit card payments, large cash withdrawals and home improvement services. An examination of the credit card accounts revealed significant personal expenditures by Wild on luxury items, international travel and other personal living expenses.
A federal agent took Wild into custody at a Houston airport upon his return from a trip to Europe. Wild confessed to the agent during an interview.
Wild has a prior conviction for felony theft and fiduciary misappropriation of client funds in Harris County, where he was an attorney. He served five months of a five-year prison term and was on parole in 1996 when he was hired to work at the hospital by his mother, who worked as a records management division manager at Memorial Hermann.
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