By Cameron Rasmusson
Less than a week after a warrant was issued for her arrest, former Bonner General Health CFO Norilina Harvel turned herself in to local authorities Tuesday for her alleged embezzlement of $220,000 from Bonner General Health.
An employee of Bonner General Health for 15 years and its chief financial officer for 10 years, Harvel allegedly used a phony bank account set up in the hospital’s name to embezzle thousands of dollars through unauthorized credit card transactions. Another large chunk of money was masked through the hospital’s purchase of sterilizing equipment. According to hospital officials, Harvel called the equipment manufacturer, saying they hospital couldn’t afford the up-front expense and asking that the check be returned. She then orchestrated the sale of the equipment to a leasing company, which billed the hospital regularly for its use.
The Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant for her arrest last Wednesday.
According to Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, Harvel bonded herself out of jail almost immediately after her arrest. She entered the jail accompanied by a bail bonds service worker, paid her $50,000 bail and walked back out again.
“She was out as quick as she was in,” Wheeler said.
According to BGH board chair Ford Elsaesser, the hospital intends to press full charges based on the abuse of public trust and the extent of the theft against a nonprofit institution.
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