Federal prosecutors in Ohio last week charged the former director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Gary Fingerhut, of participating in a $2.7 million fraud scheme.
Fingerhut was fired in 2015 after the FBI contacted 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 filed 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.
“I apologize for the bad decisions that I made; they were wrong and I am deeply remorseful,” Fingerhut said via a statement his lawyer emailed to Cleveland.com. “I hurt my family, my former employer and my community and I take complete responsibility for my actions.”