CAMDEN - A South Jersey doctor has received prison time for defrauding a former employer's medical practice.
Walter Sytnik, 35, of Voorhees was sentenced Monday to a two-year prison term for diverting more than $500,000 from a Camden County medical practice. the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey.
It claims Sytnik launched the scheme in May 2013, when he was employed as a bookkeeper at the practice. Sytnik left the practice to attend medical school in Florida in 2105, but continued to divert money until April 2018, the federal prosecutor's office said.
Sytnik opened credit card accounts "at the same banks as used by the doctor at the medical practice," then forged the doctor's signature on stolen checks to pay the credit card bills by mail, the statement added.
"When Sytnik ran out of checks, he reordered new ones so that he could continue the fraud," it said.
The medical practice that employed Sytnik was not identified.
Sytnik pleaded guilty to mail fraud in September 2021 before U.S. District Judge Joseph Rodriguez.
The judge on Monday also ordered Sytnik to pay restitution of $416,000.
An attorney for Sytnik said the crime occurred when the doctor "was involved in a destructive relationship which exacerbated existing mental health problems."
"These factors were recognized by the court in mitigation," said the lawyer, Caroline Cinquanto of Philadelphia.
She said Sytnik "has taken full responsibility for his crime and is sincerely remorseful for his actions," and also noted the doctor "has completed his education, started working, and sought mental health counseling."
"He looks forward to putting this chapter behind him, as well as repaying his debt to the victims in this case," Cinquanto said.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other beats for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: NJ mail fraud: South Jersey doctor receives prison for diverting money