Former head of charity pleads guilty in embezzlement case

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The former lead fundraiser of a Louisiana hospital foundation has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $550,000 for his personal use.

News outlets report 49-year-old John Paul Funes entered guilty pleas Thursday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors say the fired president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lakes Foundation falsified records in order to use the charity’s money for gift cards and to send family and friends to LSU and New Orleans Saints football games.

In a statement, Funes’ attorney Walt Green said his client’s guilty pleas are a step toward Funes taking full responsibility for his actions. Green says Funes is “extremely remorseful.”

Funes could spend 20 years in prison for each count. He could be forced to pay up to $750,000 plus any restitution ordered by a judge.

Categories: National & International News