The following is a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.
BOISE – Szilvia Rideg, 40, formerly of Boise, was sentenced to five years’ probation for the felony offense of federal program theft, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced today. Rideg’s sentence was imposed by U.S. District Chief Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Boise. Before sentencing, Rideg paid $44,311.04 in restitution plus a $100 special assessment.
According to court records, from 2015 to 2018, Rideg worked as the executive director for the Idaho Veterans Research and Education Foundation (“Foundation”). The Foundation is a Veterans Affairs Nonprofit Research and Education Corporation located in Boise. Its purpose is to support research and education at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
From 2016 to 2018, Rideg used the Foundation’s credit card to make unauthorized charges at stores such as Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Fred Meyer, Starbucks, Target, Sunglass Hut, and Graeber & Company salon. In March 2018, Rideg used the credit card to pay for over $1,000 at the Hilton San Diego resort for herself and two children. In September 2016, she used the credit card to buy plane tickets for her two children to fly to Washington, D.C. To conceal these illegal charges, Rideg paid the credit card charges from the Foundation’s checking account and altered the Foundation’s checking account statements. Rideg misapplied over $44,000 belonging to the Foundation.
The case was investigated by Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. Because the Foundation received over $10,000 in federal money, and Rideg misapplied more than $5,000, federal criminal charges were filed against Rideg.