Woman gets 2 years for embezzling $852,000 from St. Luke's workers

Sara Curnow, 44, of Portland, Ore., was sentenced Wednesday to two years plus three months in prison for the crime of wire fraud, Idaho U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Curnow to pay restitution of $852,041 to St. Luke’s Health System. And he sentenced her to serve six months of home confinement during three years of supervised release after her federal prison term.

Curnow pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in March. According to the plea agreement, Curnow was an employee of Boise-based Pinnacle Pension Services from 2008 through 2015. Pinnacle administered health care and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts for employees of firms including St. Luke's, and Curnow was Pinnacle's FSA administrator.

According to the plea agreement, Curnow embezzled $852,041 from St. Luke’s FSA accounts at Wells Fargo Bank, creating dummy elections and claims payments for St. Luke’s employees so they ended up in her bank accounts. The court document notes 294 separate transfers ranging from about $600 to $9,100.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Boise Police Department.