Former Pa. hospital exec pleads guilty to $1.7 million theft

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 13, 2011 4:03 PM
Former Pa. hospital exec pleads guilty to $1.7 million theft

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Roosevelt Hairston Jr., former executive vice president and general counsel for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to embezzling $1.7 million from the institution, officials said.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said Hairston, 46, of Malvern, a Philadelphia suburb, allegedly stole the money to lead a lavish lifestyle of expensive automobiles, a yacht with staff and real estate holdings.

He faces five to seven years in federal prison, restitution for the stolen $1.7 million and up to $1 million in fines when he is sentenced on October 13 in U.S. District Court.

According to prosecutors, Hairston embezzled the money by submitting false invoices to be paid to shell companies.

Hairston's lawyer Howard Bruce Klein said his client had made huge mistakes in his life but, "There is a whole other side to Roosevelt."

He said Hairston has worked with homeless and hungry people, and has also led a public interest law center.

(Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)