North Carolina woman pleads guilty to stealing $3M from hospital

A former director of finance at a North Carolina hospital pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft after she was accused of stealing more than $3 million from her employer over a 14-year period.

Prosecutors say Kimberly Russell Hobson, 46, embezzled the money from High Point Regional Hospital between January 2003 and August of last year. A hospital spokesperson told WXII that Hobson was removed from her position this past summer.

A court record says the transactions appeared on internal records as payroll payments to doctors.

Hobson also was accused of using hospital accounts to make payments on her credit cards and loans. Investigators say she bought luxury cars and gold coins with some of the money.

According to WXII, Hobson is required to forfeit $3.8 million as part of her guilty plea. She is also required to hand over BMW and Harley-Davidson luxury vehicles that she bought with the money, as well as a pearl necklace and Louis Vuitton handbag and wallet that she had when she was arrested.

Hobson faces up to 32 years in prison. Her sentencing is set for May 2.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.