Former Lake Chelan Community Hospital CEO forges way to federal prison

Quincy Murder
Man Pleas Not Guilty

Former Lake Chelan Community Hospital CEO David Bernier was sentenced to six months in federal prison for forging military records and making false statements last week, both charges unrelated to his work in Chelan.

Bernier, 52, was the CEO in Chelan for less than two years after he was fired in 2009.

He pleaded guilty to the U.S. District Court last June to making a false statement after he filed two claims in 2014 for foreclosures of property in Florida, stating he was on active duty with the Air Force in Iraq at the time. The government later determined that Bernier’s claims were false.

Federal sentencing guidelines recommended a 24 to 30 month range for sentencing, with Bernier sentenced on Jan. 6, 2017 to a fraction of the recommendation, along with two years of probation after his release.

Bernier claimed that he was on active duty in Iraq when we was a hospital administrator in Chelan, adding that he was serving when his two Florida condos foreclosed in 2008 and 2009. Bernier sought federal funds dedicated to active duty military members who suffer losses through mortgage foreclosures, totaling some $730,000 in 2014.

Bernier provided documents to show various service medals and citations from Iraq, evidence the government could not substantiate and found false.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended a 12-month sentence because of Bernier’s service for 20 years in the Air Force and his lack of criminal history.