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April 16, 2024

Ex-Doylestown Hospital director pleads guilty to stealing $600,000 from charity fund

Norma Galagarza stole the money over a 13-year-period and used it to pay her taxes, car payments and credit card bills, prosecutors say.

Courts Embezzlement
Doylestown Hospital Galagarza Street View/Google Maps

Former Doylestown Hospital administrator Norma Galagarza, 68, of Chalfont, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600,000 from a charitable fund that had been used to provide assistance to employees in need.

Norma Galagarza was sentenced to five months of probation Monday after she pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $600,000 from a charitable fund at Doylestown Hospital. 

Galagarza, 68, the hospital's former medical staff director, previously repaid the hospital $604,702.29 – the total she had been accused of taking over 13 years. 

She had been charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, forgery, access device fraud and computer trespass. Her sentence was less than the sentencing guideline of six to 14 months.  

Before Galagarza retired in March 2021, she was responsible for overseeing the hospital's charitable fund, which had been created in 1991 to invest in the community and provide assistance to employees in need. Donations to the account came from doctors who were on the hospital's Medical Executive Committee managed by Galagarza.

The committee stopped receiving monthly statements in 2007, believing it had gone dormant, prosecutors said. The mailing address had been changed to Galagarza's home address in Chalfont, Bucks County. 

Almost a year after Galagarza retired, the hospital's board began receiving insufficient funds charges despite not knowing the account was still open. The board found more than $55,000 in unauthorized withdrawals and deposits had been made from October 2020 to December 2021, prosecutors said.

Detectives began investigating Galagarza in January 2022, prosecutors said. They alleged she made 896 unauthorized transactions from the account to pay her taxes, car payments and credit card bills from 2008 to 2021. She was charged in October 2023. 

"These were private funds of the independent medical staff and were in no way connected to the operation of Doylestown Hospital," Doylestown Hospital said in October. "This isolated incident has had no impact on patient care or delivery of services."