BRUNSWICK, GA. | A man who formerly bought employment ads for Southeast Georgia Health System pleaded guilty Thursday to creating phony ones to funnel nearly $244,000 of hospital money into his own bank account.
Luke Joseph Wiemers, 35, pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in a hearing in which his lawyer handed over a check for the balance of the money he took.
Wiemers worked in the health system’s human resources department as a recruitment and retention specialist responsible for advertising job vacancies on web site job boards, according to a charging document.
While his job was to contract with advertising vendors, Wiemers created fictitious job boards and then caused the transfer of $243,738.53 in phony charges into his personal bank account, FBI Special Agent Jeff Roberts testified.
Wiemers went through proxy companies as he took steps to conceal his involvement and used false identities to create email addresses, Roberts said.
He pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in the electronic transfers.
Under questioning from Wiemers’ lawyer, Reid Zeh, Roberts said that Travelers Insurance had repaid the hospital all but a $35,000 deductible and that Wiemers had voluntarily agreed to make restitution and already had made a couple of payments.
Zeh showed the court that Wiemers was handing over a check for nearly $240,000 Thursday.
Now living in Raleigh, N.C., Wiemers had willingly returned from Nevada when he was charged earlier this year, Zeh said.
During his pre-trial release, Wiemers is undergoing rehabilitation some of “a very serious gambling addiction problem,” Zeh told the court.
He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and three years probation.
Wood allowed him to remain free on bond until he is sentenced at a later date.
Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405