Former healthcare exec sentenced to prison in $59 million bank fraud scheme
The ex-president of an Ohio healthcare management company pleaded guilty and was convicted of bank fraud in federal court and has been sentenced to 42 months in prison followed by another three years of supervised release.
During his time as president of Blue Ash, Ohio-based Premier Healthcare Management, which owned and operated nine nursing care facilities in southern and central Ohio, Harold Sosna conducted the largest bank fraud scheme ever prosecuted in the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to a Justice Department news release.
“Harold Sosna received a long prison sentence which is consistent with the magnitude of his fraud scheme,” acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman said in a news release. “He cheated community banks in western Pennsylvania and Ohio of an astounding sum—$59 million.”
Premier Healthcare Management’s facilities, most of which are now owned by Blue Ash-based CommuniCare, offered post-acute and long-term care as well as assisted living services to various companies. Each corporate entity and Premier Healthcare Management subsidiary managed individual accounts at financial institutions including S&T Bank and First Financial Bank.
In a check-kiting scheme, Sosna moved funds between S&T Bank and First Financial Bank accounts associated with Premier Healthcare Management, making it appear as though the accounts had sufficient available funds and tricking the banks into honoring checks drawn from accounts with insufficient, illegitimate funds.
Sosna deposited a total of 203 checks and the amounts grew larger over time. Between May 15, 2020 and May 18, 2020, Sosna sent more than $118 million through S&T Bank and First Financial Bank. S&T Bank lost $59.2 million from the scheme.
“Sosna has now been sentenced and held accountable for his greed and negligence in gaming the banking system,” Mike Nordwall, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge, said in a news release. “The FBI investigates these matters aggressively to safeguard the financial industry. Fraud of this magnitude will not be tolerated.”