A Fishers company that operates 17 skilled-nursing facilities is suing its former chief financial officer, saying she defrauded the company through a scheme to get double paychecks for more than a year, and that she also improperly sent more than a half-million dollars to her own construction company.
Chosen Consulting LLC, which does business as Chosen Healthcare, filed suit Friday in Marion County Superior Court against Amy Gale, who served as CFO from 2014 until she was fired in May.
According to the complaint, Gale improperly took $280,000 from the company in double paychecks, and another $556,750 in improper wire transfers to her construction company, Cabb Properties LLC.
Gale, whose addresses is listed in the court filings as Steelville, Missouri, could not be reached for comment.
In its complaint, Chosen said the company and its owners had other related health-care entities, and in October 2019, directed Gale to move her salary, along with several other employees, from the books of Chosen to a related entity. The following month, Gale confirmed in an email that she did so.
Chosen said it became aware of a problem on May 12, 2021, when an employee alerted it to a “payroll irregularity.” The employee, who was not identified in the complaint, told the company he or she had been paid double for the same pay period—once from Chosen and once from another entity.
When the employee asked Gale about the double payment, Gale said she also received checks from both entities for the same pay period, but the check from Chosen was “effectively void,” as the account from which it was written was supposedly closed, the complaint said.
“Left unsatisfied with that explanation, the employee brought the issue to the attention of Chosen’s executives,” who opened an investigation, the complaint said.
“When they inquired of Gale about the double payments, she repeated the same story and produced a spreadsheet, purportedly from Chosen’s outside payroll company, showing that she was only being paid by the other entity…and not also by Chosen,” the complaint said.
Chosen executives contacted the outside payroll company to confirm the story, and learned that Gale had been paid from both entities since December 2019, and that the spreadsheet “had been fraudulently manipulated” to hide her activity, the complaint said.
“Gale eventually confessed that she had received the double payments and that she could not return the money as it had been spent,” the complaint said.
The company said it fired Gale the same day and continued to investigate.
The company said it later discovered that Gale’s company, which had been hired to perform construction-related services in the spring of 2020, had actually received unapproved additional wire transfers worth $556,750 over five months this year, through the use of false invoices.
The complaint did not say how much it had paid Cabb for work actually performed in 2020, when it sent approved payments between February and April 2020.
Chosen also discovered that Gale caused a $30,000 wire transfer to be sent in July of 2019 to her daughter, Callie Brda, who was not employed by Chosen and did no work for the company.
The complaint accuses the defendants of “extensive fraud,” deception, conspiracy and theft. Chosen, which operates nursing homes in Indiana, Iowa and Texas is asking for a jury trial.