Former health executive sentenced to jail in $ 59 million bank fraud scheme

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The ex-president of an Ohio healthcare management company pleaded guilty and was convicted of bank fraud in federal court and was sentenced to 42 months in prison followed by three more years of release monitored.

While he was president of Premier Healthcare Management of Blue Ash, Ohio, which owned and operated nine nursing homes in southern and central Ohio, Harold Sosna led the biggest bank fraud scheme ever prosecuted in the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to a Justice Department statement.

“Harold Sosna has been sentenced to a long prison term which matches the scale of his fraud scheme,” Acting US Attorney Stephen Kaufman said in a statement. “He defrauded community banks in western Pennsylvania and Ohio for an incredible amount: $ 59 million.

Premier Healthcare Management’s facilities, most of which are now owned by Blue Ash-based CommuniCare, provided follow-up and long-term care as well as assisted living services to various companies. Each legal entity and subsidiary of Premier Healthcare Management maintained individual accounts at financial institutions, including S&T Bank and First Financial Bank.

In a check-kit program, Sosna transferred funds between S&T Bank and First Financial Bank accounts associated with Premier Healthcare Management, giving the impression that the accounts had sufficient funds available and prompting banks to honor the checks drawn. of accounts with insufficient and illegitimate funds. .

Sosna deposited a total of 203 checks and the amounts have increased over time. Between May 15, 2020 and May 18, 2020, Sosna sent over $ 118 million through S&T Bank and First Financial Bank. S&T Bank lost $ 59.2 million as a result of the scheme.

“Sosna has now been convicted and held accountable for his greed and neglect in the game of the banking system,” said Mike Nordwall, special agent for the FBI Pittsburgh, in a press release. “The FBI is aggressively investigating these matters to protect the financial industry. Fraud of this magnitude will not be tolerated.”

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