HUNTINGTON — A Point Pleasant man pled guilty this week to embezzling more than $45,000 from the Pleasant Valley Hospital, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, Kevin L. Durst, 62, a former employee at the hospital, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 19, 2019. He has agreed to pay restitution to the Hospital in the amount of $46,021.57 before he is sentenced. In a press release, Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Department of Homeland Security.
“Prosecutions like this are extremely important,” said Stuart. “Local hospitals are so critical to West Virginia communities and any amount of financial loss can be devastating to healthcare providers and patients through higher costs.”
According to the press release, “Durst admitted as a financial analyst at Pleasant Valley Hospital, he had access to the Hospital’s online bank accounts and could initiate wire transfers on certain of those accounts. He further admitted that he secretly wrote checks to benefit himself and to his family’s private cemetery from a Hospital account that he knew was dormant and was not scrutinized by other Hospital officials. He also admitted that he transferred funds from the Hospital’s active accounts to the dormant account to ensure that there were abundant funds for his personal use. He further admitted that he initiated wire transfers to the Internal Revenue Service out of Hospital accounts to make federal tax payments for his family’s cemetery. He embezzled the funds between July 20, 2016, and August 22, 2016.”
Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas was in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the plea hearing.