The head of the Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic has been charged in an elaborate scheme to allegedly misappropriate federal funds over the course of eight years.
Renee Tartaglione, 60, has been charged with conspiracy, fraud and theft related to her position at a nonprofit mental health clinic that serves patients eligible under Medicaid, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sai.
The newly unsealed indictment alleges that Tartaglione, as president of the JCMHC board of directors, purchased Philadelphia buildings that housed clinic facilities then repeatedly raised the rent to amounts substantially more than the market rate.
In one case, the clinic’s Third Street facility saw its rent increase from $4,500 to $25,000 per month, the U.S. Attorney reported. In another instance, Tartaglione organized a company, Norris Hancock LLC, which purchased a building on Fifth Street and leased it to the JCMHC at a rate of $35,000 per month for two years then $75,000 per month for the next three years.
The indictment alleges that the lease agreements were not approved by the JCMHC’s Board of Directors and that Tartaglione and her co-conspirators falsified documents in an effort to legitimize the transactions.
“Nonprofit organizations, including those that deliver health care, hold a special place in our society, and the people who manage them are required to act in the best interests of the nonprofit,” United States Attorney Zane David Memeger said. “When instead, those trusted leaders decide to commit fraud, and line their pockets with the funds of the nonprofit, they appropriately face the severe consequences of a federal prosecution.”
Tartaglione is Philadelphia's former chief elections deputy and the daughter of former City Commissioners Chairwoman Margaret Tartaglione. She is also married to Carlos Matos, a Democratic ward leader in Kensington, who had a role at the clinic, according to Philly.com. Matos has not been charged.
If convicted on all charges, Tartaglione faces prison, restitution, and fines.