The former executive director of two north suburban Deerfield physician offices was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for fraudulently diverting nearly $500,000 of the company’s money for her own use.
Jane Kulhanek, 57, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, used The Laser Network LLC and United Eye Care Providers’ company credit cards to buy vacations in Spain and France and antique furniture, and to pay her personal credit cards and state and federal income taxes, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.
From January 2006 to December 2012, she diverted $491,328.57 by classifying false payments in the company’s ledgers as having been made to medical equipment vendors and other suppliers, the statement said. The company’s funds were actually going to her personal credit cards.
When company officials confronted her about the charges in 2011, she said she had used the cards mistakenly, prosecutors said. She continued diverting company money for another year.
Kulhanek pleaded guilty in February to one count of wire fraud, prosecutors said. In addition to the 18-month prison term, U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah also ordered Kulhanek to pay $364,598.05 in restitution.
“This crime is not of a mistake made one time, but a six-year scheme to steal money and cover it up,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil R. Harjani said in the statement. “Only when the defendant’s scheme was fully exposed by company management did she stop her fraudulent conduct.”