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Free Clinics' Former Executive Enters Plea

June 26, 2004|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The former chief financial officer of the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he embezzled at least $773,000 from the nonprofit known for providing healthcare to the poor.

Carl Gill, 43, of Oakland admitted some wrongdoing, but disagreed with the amount, said his attorney, Douglas Horngrad.

"He's not disputing that there were financial irregularities," Horngrad said.

Gill, who also taught computerized accounting at City College of San Francisco, made his plea in court Friday. He is charged with diverting clinic funds to personal bank accounts between 2001 and 2003. If found guilty, he could face up to 12 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

"This is classic vendor embezzlement," said Assistant Dist. Atty. David Pfeifer.

The free clinics started 37 years ago with a single storefront in the Haight-Ashbury district, and have expanded to 22 clinics that serve 140,000 patients each year. The patients often are too poor to pay and include the homeless, drug addicts, the elderly, AIDS patients and the critically ill.

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