BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - John Paul Funes, the former head of the Our Lady of the Lake Foundation, has been released from federal prison due to COVID-19 protocols, his attorney said Friday.
Funes was released to home confinement last week.
He is expected to remain on home confinement for the remainder of his sentence.
Funes had been serving time in Terre Haute, Indiana for embezzling funds from the hospital. The prison has been under strict COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic, with visitors banned from the facility for much of that time.
He was taken into federal custody on December 1, 2019.
“As of February 26, 2021, under the authorization of the Cares Act, John Paul has been transitioned to home confinement as warranted by the circumstances of the Covid-19 protocol,” his attorney, Walt Green, said. “Bureau of Prisons policy prevents him from speaking to the media. While his offenses overshadowed his role in helping to build the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital and other charitable causes, John Paul is remorseful and looks forward to completing the sentence imposed by the court so that he can continue to make amends by committing himself to serve our community when he is allowed to do so.”
In 2019, a judge sentenced Funes to 33 months in prison. He has currently served about half of that sentence.
When he was sentenced, Funes apologized to former colleagues at the hospital he once worked for, to his family, and to the victims.
“The crimes and sins I committed were a result of weakness,” Funes said. “I lived a culture of lies.”
Funes stole nearly $800,000 from the Our Lady of the Lake Foundation for personal use. The foundation raises money for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and its affiliate hospitals.
He has repaid the $800,000 to the hospital, and will pay the $50,000 fine to the U.S. Government.
Prosecutors say Funes, 51, flew family and friends to LSU and New Orleans Saints football games under the guise of “outbound patient transports,” and labeled gift cards he purchased for himself as gifts for cancer patients in order to balance the hospital’s books.
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