A former financial official at a nonprofit western Pennsylvania health system pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing $713,000 from the organization, writes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Authorities said that while serving as manager of patient financial services for Allegheny Health Network, Ira Johnson, 52, funneled patients' checks into a bank account he set up and withdrew much of the money at casinos in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 23.
Milton Raiford, Mr. Johnson's lawyer, said in court that his client is under treatment for a gambling problem and is making an effort to pay the money back. "I think he's an ill person just as bad as any drug addiction. This is not the kind of guy you want to send to prison or jail," the attorney said.