The former pharmacy director for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center accused of embezzling more than $4.6 million from the hospital pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday in U.S. District Court.
Lisa Kwapniowski could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of her sentence, Kwapniowski will be ordered to repay the money she was accused of embezzling. She also has agreed to forfeit her interest in a residence she owns in the Elkhorn area.
Kwapniowski is scheduled to be sentenced in late April by senior U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp.
Kwapniowski, 49, could not be reached Monday for comment.
Information filed in federal court alleges that Kwapniowski defrauded the hospital between 2010 and 2018. The case was investigated by the FBI.
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Sometime before 2010, according to the federal court filing, Kwapniowski began submitting to the hospital fraudulent invoices from legitimate pharmaceutical companies.
In early 2012, she set up a business she named RxSynergy. She was previously identified as the president and sole member of RxSynergy.
She then began to submit fraudulent invoices for pharmaceuticals and supplies from RxSynergy to Children’s. However, neither RxSynergy nor Kwapniowski ever provided any of the goods in the invoices to Children’s. Some of the RxSynergy invoices were for a fake drug called Broxcilam. Kwapniowski fraudulently invoiced the hospital at least 227 times between 2012 and 2018.
Federal officials also alleged that Kwapniowski submitted fraudulent invoices to the hospital between January 2012 and November 2013 that appeared to come from a legitimate pharmaceutical vendor called PharMedium.
She used a Children’s credit card to pay a PayPal account she created. She would submit the fraudulent PharMedium invoices to Children’s as justification for the credit card bill, and Children’s would pay the credit card company directly.
Kwapniowski then transferred funds from the PayPal account to her personal account.
Kwapniowski was terminated from the hospital in June after being accused of embezzling money.
A petition the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office filed in late November sought disciplinary action against Kwapniowski’s license to practice pharmacy. Her license was revoked for at least two years under a settlement agreement with the state last month.
Reinstatement will be at the discretion of HHS and must be approved by the Nebraska Board of Pharmacy.