Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic (Google Maps)

Renee Tartaglione, 61, the former president of the Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic, was found guilty on Friday of all charges against her, including conspiracy, fraud and theft from a nonprofit clinic that provided mental health services to people eligible under Medicaid.

 

In an announcement shared by the United States Attorney’s Office, acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen said that on Friday, Tartaglione, of Philadelphia, was also convicted of falsifying her federal income tax returns by underreporting her income for tax years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

 

“Tartaglione’s crimes against the Juniata Mental Health Clinic are unfortunate examples of how those in control of nonprofits can abuse them for their personal enrichment,” Lappen said in a statement. “Her fraudulent scheme did serious damage to the community she was supposed to serve — denying mental health services to economically disadvantaged people.”

 

A jury found that between 2007 and 2015, when she served as president of JCMHC’s board of directors, Tartaglione defrauded and stole money from the nonprofit in a variety of schemes, including purchasing the building on Third Street that housed the clinic and then raising the rent repeatedly, from $4,500 per month to, ultimately, $25,000 per month.

 

Also, the jury found that none of the rent increases or the lease agreements were approved by the nonprofit’s board of directors and, instead, Tartaglione and her co-conspirators created false documents in what Lappen’s office called “an attempt to make the transactions appear legitimate.”

“Nonprofit entities are supposed to protect our truly disadvantaged. When members of our city are in their most trying times, they turn to organizations like Juniata Community Mental Health and other contractors of the City’s Community Behavioral Health for honest and compassionate assistance,” said Amy Kurland, Philadelphia inspector general, in a statement. “Theft within our city’s nonprofit sector is profoundly harmful because it victimizes those who have already been victimized. That is why my office will forever be committed to protecting the integrity of charitable services within Philadelphia — and we are very grateful to have partners like the USAO and FBI who are equally committed to that mission.”