Calif. Woman Sentenced For Defrauding Santa Teresa Firm Of $856k

Flavia Bolourchi, 59, of Sacramento, Calif., was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in federal prison and was ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Bruce D. Black to pay $856,000 in restitution for defrauding Spartan Health Sciences School of Medicine, a company that moved its corporate headquarters in 1998 to El Paso and Santa Teresa, N.M., the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Bolourchi, who was Spartan's financial officer from Jan. 3, 1997 to Aug. 20, 1999, pleaded guilty on March 10 to mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, money laundering and tax evasion, the release said.

According to prosecutors, Bolourchi received student loan checks and disbursed them to students to cover tuition and other expenses as part of her duties, but instead of depositing funds from the checks into Spartan's bank account she put the funds into her own account in Santa Teresa.

Prosecutors alleged that to conceal the fraud, she made false entries in Spartan's financial records, and she also failed to pay $320,483 in federal income taxes from the income she obtained by defrauding the company, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Charges were filed against Bolourchi in 2002, and she was arrested in November 2009 after being apprehended in Bahrain, the release said.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service, according to the release.

She remains free on a $25,000 bond until she is directed to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to serve her sentence.

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