by Dave Muoio | September 2, 2021
The Department of Justice has announced charges against a Mercyhealth marketing and public affairs executive who was fired by the system due to her alleged involvement in a $3 million kickback scheme.
Former Mercyhealth Vice President Barb Bortner was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and tax evasion, according to the department’s notice.
Ryan Weckerly, the owner of marketing agency Morningstar Media Group, with whom Bortner allegedly conspired, has also been charged with wire fraud and with aiding and abetting in the preparation of a false income tax return.
Both Bortner and Weckerly have agreed to plead guilty to the charges, according to the department.
Bortner had been employed at the health system for more than 30 years prior to her termination, according to a mid-August staff memo from Mercyhealth CEO Javon Bea that was shared with Fierce Healthcare. In addition to her removal from the health system, Bortner has also been fired from her staff position at the Mercyhealth Development Foundation, its philanthropic arm.