Mercyhealth Vice President charged in $3M fraud scheme

Local News

JANESVILLE, Wis. (WTVO) — Former Mercyhealth Vice President Barbara Bortner has been charged with wire fraud and tax evasion after her involvement in a $3 million fraud scheme with a vendor was discovered.

According to the US Justice Department, Bortner is said to have been involved in a series of transactions with a vendor, Ryan Weckerly, 46, of Sycamore, which inflated prices to Mercyhealth and gave kickbacks to Bortner.

Weckerly was the manager of Morningstar Media Group, a marketing agency based in sycamore.

Bortner oversaw Mercyhealth’s marketing and public relations division.

Officials say, beginning in February 2015, Bortner and Weckelry came up with a plan by which he would submit inflated invoices to Bortner, in exchange that she would use Morningstar as the primary marketing agency for the company.

Bortner is charged with wire fraud and tax evasion, for reasons involving her failure to report the proceeds of the scheme on her tax return.

Weckerly is charged with wire fraud and aiding and abetting in the preparation of a false tax return.

Both have agreed to plead guilty to the charges, waiving their right to indictment by a grand jury.

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