Ronica Miller pleads not guilty to taking funds from frozen account
Published: April 4, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - Ronica Miller, wife of the former Schneider Hospital CEO convicted of income tax fraud, pleaded not guilty Thursday in V.I. Superior Court to charges of withdrawing funds from an account frozen by authorities when they were investigating her husband.
Ronica Miller, 37, still is in the custody of the V.I. Bureau of Corrections after turning herself in March 3 in Beaufort, S.C. Her bail still is set at $500,000, according to Magistrate Carolyn Hermon-Percell.
Ronica Miller had been on the run since September 2012. According to court documents, she fled shortly after withdrawing $421,900 from an account that was supposed to be off-limits because it was one of the handful of accounts that Rodney Miller was accused of using to embezzle funds from the hospital.
On Thursday, Ronica Miller pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of accessory after the fact, for which she could face a maximum fine of up to $250,000 per count, as well as up to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment per count, according to Magistrate Henry Carr, who initially advised Ronica Miller of her rights last month.
The charges that Ronica Miller is facing are tied to the charges that her husband still is facing in Superior Court and are entirely separate from those he was found guilty of in federal court in January.
According to prosecutors, Ronica Miller, between July 23, 2012, and July 26, 2012, withdrew $421,900 from one of the accounts that her husband is accused of using to siphon funds into from the hospital. The account was restricted in November 2008 after allegations surfaced against Rodney Miller, according to an affidavit written by the case's lead investigator, Nick Peru of the Office of the V.I. Inspector General.
Ronica Miller was fully aware of the status of the account, Peru wrote, as she had been with her husband in court on multiple occasions, during which time authorities informed and updated the court about the freezing of certain assets.
As for Rodney Miller, he began a 21-month sentence for the tax fraud conviction at the Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo in Puerto Rico. His sentence began several months after a jury found him guilty in September 2013 of causing, aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false and fraudulent 2006 income tax return.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.