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Ex-hospital worker guilty of embezzlement, cash laundering / November 24, 2021

Marah Taylor of South Hill received an active sentence of 45 days behind bars after pleading guilty Friday to one count of embezzlement and one count of money laundering through her employment with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill.

Her incarceration begins Dec. 3.

Mecklenburg County Circuit Court Judge S. Anderson “Andy” Nelson sentenced Taylor to 20 years in prison on each count for a total of 40 years, but suspended all but 45 days of the sentence. He also ordered Taylor to complete four years of probation upon her release and be of good behavior for 40 years.

Virginia’s sentencing guidelines recommend no prison time for similar crimes.

In handing down the sentence, Nelson said Taylor’s crime was especially bad because she violated the position of trust in which she had been placed and because there was no real motivation for the crime.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Nash said Taylor offered no explanation for her actions other than to claim she had bills to pay. She showed up in court on Friday with around $20,000 in restitution, according to Nash. He said this amount was “sufficient to make the hospital whole.”

Her restitution, according to court records, was $21,454.08. The amount reflects the amount paid out-of-pocket by the hospital to cover the cost of items she stole.

Taylor also was assessed $904 in court costs. Nash did not say if these were paid ahead of her sentencing on Friday.

The charges against Taylor stem from a two-year scheme during which she, while working in the marketing department of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, used her personal email account to resell unused toner cartridges purchased for one of the hospital’s printers. She deposited the money from the sales into her private bank account.

Taylor had been working for the hospital for about three years before the embezzlement began.

Nash said Taylor initially contested the number of cartridges she was charged with stealing from the hospital. After being confronted with an itemized list that Nash extracted from Taylor’s Yahoo account, she admitted her culpability in the scheme.

Taylor was initially charged with eight counts of embezzlement and two counts of conducting unlawful financial transactions. Had she been convicted on all 10 counts, Taylor could have been ordered to prison for 240 years.

Had the case gone to trial, the evidence would have shown that over a two-year period between June 2017 and June 2019, Taylor ordered and resold nearly 400 printer cartridges from Ricoh USA, the company that leased printing equipment to the South Hill hospital. The cost of the cartridges was charged to VCU Health CMH, but Taylor pocketed the money from their resale.

The value of the cartridges was $110,778, but Taylor received $55,730 after selling them through an online website,

An audit of the hospital’s toner purchases ordered by CMH Vice President of Finance Ken Libby and performed by Ricoh USA uncovered the scheme. The auditors were able to trace the sales transactions back to Taylor’s personal email account, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Nash said VCU-CMH CEO Scott Burnette provided a victim impact statement that was made a part of the court record. Taylor’s husband Jon testified on her behalf.

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