A private yacht with a captain was among the laundry list of luxuries that Roosevelt Hairston Jr., former general counsel of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, allegedly acquired with stolen hospital money.
Hairston was charged yesterday with embezzling $1.7 million. The charges were filed in a three-count information, including mail fraud, money laundering and filing a fake tax return.
The U.S. Attorney's office alleged that Hairston stole from the hospital over 12 years and forged more than 100 invoices to conceal his efforts, creating false shell companies to launder money.
To prolong the scheme, Hairston stole the identity of an old friend by creating a fake email to validate the invoices.
Details surfaced after an internal investigation found evidence of "financial irregularities," according to a CHOP news release. Hairston was fired as general counsel - a position he held for less than a year - on Feb. 18.
The federal investigation suggests that Hairston got away with stealing money to purchase luxury real estate and fast cars because he occupied "a position of trust" at the hospital, according to a U.S. Attorney news release.
He paid for two mortgages (totaling $10,500) for his home in Malvern, Chester County, with a Commerce Bank account that contained stolen money from CHOP, prosecutors said.
Hairston served on the board of many nonprofit organizations and regulatory boards.
"He was an effective leader," said Jennifer Clark, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia - a nonprofit that provides services to low-income people in the city. Hairston served as chair of the board of directors for nine years until he resigned on Feb. 18.
Hairston also was appointed by former Mayor John Street to the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, which he chaired for four years. He resigned the week of Feb. 16, days before his release from CHOP.