Columbia man admits embezzling nearly $3 million

By Logan Smith - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Columbia man pled guilty Thursday to stealing nearly $3 million from his employer while working for a local medical company.

US Attorney Walter Wilkins says 47-year-old Jerry Francis Wells, Jr. admitted to embezzling $2.97 million while he was Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President of Finance for UCI Medical Affiliates, Inc.

The company manages Doctor's Care and other medical facilities in South Carolina and Tennessee.

According to Wilkins, from 2003 to 2008 Wells used UCI's corporate credit card to pay personal expenses, submitted false expense reports for reimbursement, and submitted fake check requests for construction work on his home and credit card payments.

Since UCI was a publicly-traded company, it was required to file periodic financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wells admitted to making eight false statements on eight different SEC reports.

UCI uncovered the fraud, and informed the SEC and US attorney. Wells will be sentenced at a later date.

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