Police arrest Ronica Miller in South Carolina on V.I. warrant

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ST. THOMAS - Ronica Miller, the wife of former Schneider Regional Medical Center executive Rodney Miller Sr., has been taken into custody in South Carolina in connection with criminal charges she faces in the Virgin Islands.

Ronica Miller, 37, was booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center in South Carolina on March 3 by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

She is charged in a Virgin Islands warrant with 10 counts of being an accessory after the fact. According to court documents, she is accused of withdrawing a total of $421,900 from one of her bank accounts that had been frozen by court order in connection with the criminal charges against her husband.

Rodney Miller and two other former Schneider Regional executives, Amos Carty Jr. and Peter Najawicz, currently are scheduled to be retried later this year on a multitude of white collar criminal charges alleging that they conspired together to steal money from the hospital - although that retrial, which has faced many delays, may be pushed back until 2015.

The three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to court documents, the bank account from which Ronica Miller is accused of withdrawing funds was one of the accounts that was ordered frozen by the court because it represents money that prosecutors said her husband stole from the hospital. The funds potentially could be subject to forfeiture, as punishment, if Rodney Miller is convicted of violating the territory's anti-racketeering statute.

Rodney Miller currently is incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo in Puerto Rico, after being convicted in September of tax fraud in a separate case.

The accessory after the fact charges against Ronica Miller allege that she hindered or prevented her husband's "apprehension, trial or punishment" by withdrawing the money during July 2012 from a Navy Federal Credit Union account that had been frozen by court order.

It was not clear Thursday why the financial institution allowed money to be withdrawn from an account that had been restrained by a court order.

Ronica Miller has not yet entered a plea to the charges and remains in the Beaufort County Detention Center. It was not clear on Wednesday who her attorney is.

This is not the first time Ronica Miller has been arrested on the same warrant.

She initially was arrested in South Carolina on Oct. 17, 2012, on the Virgin Islands warrant.

She was booked into the detention center there and later released. However, she fought extradition, so V.I. prosecutors were required to go through a formal governor's warrant process to extradite her, V.I. Assistant Attorney General Denise George-Counts told The Daily News last year.

That process - the formal way that one state or territory that is accusing a person of a crime requests extradition when that person is arrested in another state or territory and does not waive their extradition rights - takes some time, but it resulted in an arrest warrant for Ronica Miller that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley issued on March 28, 2013.

However, George-Counts said last year that when authorities in South Carolina went to take Ronica Miller back into custody after the governor's warrant was issued, they could not find her.

On Thursday, George-Counts said that authorities in South Carolina picked up Ronica Miller on March 3 on a South Carolina bench warrant for failure to appear and then served her with the governor's warrant that was issued last year.

The governor's warrant gives the go-ahead for Ronica Miller to be brought to the territory to face the charges of accessory after the fact, and George-Counts said authorities likely will bring Ronica Miller to the territory within the next 30 days.

According to court documents and information that was presented during a hearing in V.I. Superior Court in September 2012, the Navy Federal Credit Union account from which the restrained funds were removed was in Ronica Miller's name.

The reason that an account in Ronica Miller's name was among the frozen accounts in the V.I. Superior Court case against Rodney Miller is because in 2008 - after bank accounts belonging to Rodney Miller, Carty, and Najawicz were frozen but before the men were charged - Miller shifted $1.2 million out of one of his accounts that the court had ordered frozen, and into accounts belonging to his wife, his mother and his attorneys, according to court documents.

Those accounts where the money was transferred then were ordered frozen.

According to the charges against Ronica Miller, she is accused of withdrawing $421,900 in frozen funds from her account with checks, debits and fund transfers to an unrestrained account in her name.

She is charged for each instance when money that was supposed to be frozen was removed from the account.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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