"In his position he had quite a bit of autonomy in regards to making decisions about vendors," according to one of his former coworkers, Eric Finley. "So that autonomy created an environment for him to be able to do these things."
Between 2007 and 2011, Bruce and co-conspirator Rudy Mata billed the hospital using fraudulent invoices. He also used a UMC credit card for personal expenses.
"So that's probably why it was so shocking for most of us, because of that trust we had for him," Finley says. "But, he's made some mistakes, and those mistakes do come with penalties and that's what we're dealing with today."
Earlier today Bruce put out a statement on Facebook, saying "I will work the rest of my life to make the financial, emotional, and spiritual restitution I know is right."
UMC assures that they've tightened up vendor and credit card policies, hoping to ward off theft like this in the future.
"Obviously you can't fully prevent something like this from happening again, there are 3500 employees here, but we feel like these are additional safeguards that will prevent it from again happening," Finley says.
And despite Bruce's betrayal, it seems that some of his former colleagues aren't holding a grudge.
"He's always been a friend of mine. He's always been a friend of people throughout the hospital," Finley says. "You know I think we're just glad this has been put behind us. We certainly wish him the best going forward, it's going to be a difficult time for him."
Bruce plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting back in June. He will have to make full restitution on the $737,492 he embezzled. The government has already seized his retirement account to help make that payment.
Mata plead guilty to the same offense in July. He is scheduled to be sentenced here in Lubbock later next month.