New court documents released in Funes embezzlement case
BATON ROUGE - New details surfaced Thursday as the former president of Our Lady of the Lakes' fundraising arm pleaded guilty to embezzling more than a half-million dollars in federal court.
John Paul Funes entered a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud and money laundering after a scheme that siphoned off more than $550,000 dollars from the OLOL Foundation, prosecutors announced Thursday.
An audit of the foundation previously found that Funes used the organization's money for private flights, sporting events and gift cards for himself. But even more details were made public during the proceedings Thursday about the scheme that spanned all the way from 2012 to 2018.
During that time, Funes admits he chartered a flight from Houma to Tampa for a Saints game on the organization's dime. Additionally, he approved his own invoices to buy gift cards for himself and gave roughly $100,0000 to the family of former LSU football player Rohan Davey.
According to the Business Report, another $180,000 went to former LSU offensive guard Vadal Alexander while he was still in college. Alexander’s father, James Alexander, reportedly received $180,000, between 2012 and 2015
To cover up his spending, Funes had invoices sent to a P.O. box and even had some documents doctored with fake patient names.
Funes' attorney released the following statement after the plea Thursday.
"John Paul’s guilty pleas are another step in the continuing process of taking full responsibility for his actions. John Paul remains extremely remorseful for the impact his past actions have had on the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center & Foundation, the community and his family & friends. He will continue to cooperate with all law enforcement agencies and plans to make full restitution."
Funes faces up to 20 years in prison on each count and $750,000 in fines.
His sentencing has been deferred until the pre-sentence investigation is complete.