A convicted felon accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge and trying to steal nearly $300,000 from other health care centers will plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors have informed a federal judge.
Larry Dale Butler, 49, of Baton Rouge, is scheduled to be rearraigned Jan. 9 by U.S. District Judge John deGravelles, court documents indicate.
Butler, who previously pleaded not guilty, is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count each of false representation of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft.
Butler, the former director of facilities at Mary Bird Perkins, also worked at the Louisiana Health Coop., a nonprofit health insurance cooperative in Covington.
Butler is accused of charging more than $16,000 for personal items using Mary Bird Perkins credit cards. The purchases came to light only after Butler told the cancer center he had another job.
Butler was hired by the center on June 2 and issued two corporate cards, which were to be used only for work-related expenses. After sending an email to the center’s human resources department on Aug. 11 letting them know he had another job opportunity and would not be in, Butler was terminated, Baton Rouge police have said.
The human resources department then discovered that Butler had made $16,201.53 in personal charges on the cards.
Butler admitted to the department that he was responsible for the charges but did not make any offers to pay the money back, police stated.
Federal prosecutors say Butler had been orchestrating a scheme since July 2013 to defraud hundreds of thousands of dollars from other institutions.
The scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Walt Green, involved using fake Social Security numbers, a California driver’s license and other documents to hide a criminal history and keep his job with the groups he was stealing from.
Butler’s criminal past includes convictions for fraud, his indictment states.
Records at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse show Butler has convictions for monetary instrument abuse and issuing worthless checks.
A federal grand jury in September accused Butler of setting up his Louisiana Health Cooperative credit card account “in a manner that would enable him to make unauthorized purchases without being detected.”
Butler used his cooperative and cancer center credit cards “to take unauthorized cash advances from the credit card accounts and to make unauthorized charges for personal expenses” such as furniture, personal travel, and food and beverages, the grand jury alleged.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Crosswell filed court documents Dec. 11 indicating that Butler and the federal government will enter into a plea agreement. Butler’s scheduled trial has been called off.
Butler’s indictment includes a forfeiture allegation that requires him to surrender the proceeds of his fraud if convicted.