Queen's embezzler gets 40-month term


POSTED: Saturday, May 30, 2009

Patricia Syling does not have a college education.

Yet she talked her way into a job at the Queen's Medical Center as an administrator where she stole nearly $650,000.

Her lawyer, Myles Breiner, said Syling's ability to secure management-level jobs in the health care industry with no formal education or skills is amazing and an indication that she needs psychiatric help. He compared her to the person whose real-life exploits were detailed in the Hollywood movie “;Catch Me if You Can.”;

“;Clearly, this is a defendant who is very intelligent, very clever,”; said U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

Authorities did catch Syling, and Mollway sentenced her yesterday to three years and four months in prison for mail fraud, followed by three years of supervised release.

Mollway also ordered Syling to repay the $639,430 she stole.

Queen's insurer covered all but $10,000 of the loss.

Syling admitted that she lied about her qualifications to get the job as Queen's corporate compliance administrator from January 2001 to October 2004.

Syling also admitted to creating bogus companies and awarding them contracts for which they performed no work.

“;I know that I did wrong at Queen's. I know that I lied to get the job. I know that I created those companies,”; she said in court yesterday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Shipley Jr. said Syling also got a job for a health maintenance organization in Tampa, Fla., using her maiden name and her ex-husband's Social Security number. Using money stolen from the HMO, Shipley said Syling bought such items as cruises and his-and-hers Mercedes-Benzes.

Federal authorities in Florida arrested Syling in September but have yet to charge her.

She pleaded guilty in the Queen's Medical Center case in February.