A former Doylestown Hospital official has been accused of embezzling more than $600,000 from a charity account.
Norma Galagarza, 68, of Chalfont, the former medical director at Doylestown Hospital, was charged Tuesday with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, knowledge that property is proceeds of illegal activity, forgery, access device fraud, and computer trespass, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
Galagarza retired from the Doylestown Hospital in March 2021.
The investigation started began in January 2022 when the Doylestown Hospital Board of Directors noted insufficient funds in an account they didn’t realize was still active.
A charitable fund was established in 1991 to support the community and needy employees of the hospital, which serves Central Bucks County. The account was funded by physician leader donations and managed by the the Medical Executive Committee and director of medical staff, authorities said.
By around 2007, the account’s monthly statements ceased reaching the Medical Executive Committee, authorities said.
“It wasn’t until hospital officials began receiving the insufficient funds notices that they realized the account was still open,” authorities said.
Upon reviewing the account’s past statements, hospital officials found unauthorized transactions were identified, authorities said.
The unauthorized transactions totaled over $55,000 between October 2020 and December 2021, authorities said.
Officials said they also discovered the account’s mailing address had been changed to Galagarza’s home.
Doylestown Township police and Bucks County Detectives discovered that Galagarza made nearly 896 unsanctioned transactions that amounted to approximately $604,702.29 between 2008 to 2021, authorities said.
Authorities said they obtained search warrants as part of the probe, and the funds covered Galagarza personal bills, including taxes, cell phone charges, car payments, and credit accounts.
Galagarza was preliminarily arraigned before District Judge Mark Douple and released on $250,000 unsecured bail.