Former Cleveland Clinic Innovations director Gary Fingerhut plead guilty this week to charges that he helped defraud the clinic out of more than $2.7 million and will face several years in federal prison, according to a Cleveland.com report.
Fingerhut was fired in 2015 after the FBI notified the clinic of financial transactions that violated the hospital system’s internal policies. Cleveland Clinic Innovations is the commercialization arm of the clinic, created to form spinouts based on clinic-developed technologies. Fingerhut joined CCI as general manager for IT commercialization in 2009 and was named executive director in 2013.
In a Sept. 13 criminal information filing with the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio, prosecutors alleged that Fingerhut and the chief technology officer he hired for CCI subsidiary Interactive Visual Health Records, identified as “W.R.,” used a shell company to bilk more than $2.7 million from the clinic. Fingerhut accepted nearly $469,000 in periodic “referral” or “commission” fees from W.R. for his part in the scheme between August 2012 and November 2014, prosecutors alleged.
Fingerhut is looking to face between 41 and 51 months in federal prison as part of the plea, according to the report.
Federal prosecutors will also seek restitution for the funds the Clinic lost in the scheme, Cleveland.com reports, with Fingerhut on the line for approximately $469,000.
Sentencing will be carried out by U.S. District Judge Christopher Book on January 30, according to the report.