Vendors sentenced after defrauding hospital, bribing execs

Four hospital vendors are headed to prison after being sentenced Friday for defrauding Florida's Memorial Healthcare System in a bribery scheme, in which the vendors paid kickbacks to hospital executives in exchange for $15 million contracts with the public hospital system, South Florida Business Journal reported.

The former director of facilities management at Memorial West in Pembroke Pines, Adil Osman, took money and in-kind payments, with kickbacks worth thousands of dollars in home improvements in exchange for the contracts. Although many of the vendors did the work, they substantially inflated their invoices to Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Regional Hospital, two hospitals under the Memorial Healthcare System, according to the state attorney general's office.

Hospital vendors, Thomas Kennedy, Thomas Pacchioli, Richard Cohen and Paul Chaiet, and three hospital executives were arrested in June 2011, HealthLeaders Media reported.

In addition to paying back restitution, Kennedy was sentenced to three and a half years of prison time; Cohen and Chaiet were sentenced to 18 months each; and Pacchioli was sentenced to three years probation.

The Attorney's Office praised Memorial Healthcare's cooperation with the investigation, according to Memorial Healthcare System spokeswoman Kerting Baldwin. "Ever since we discovered irregularities in the Plant Engineering Department and turned over the case to the proper authorities, we have been proactive with all of the investigating agencies to bring this case to conclusion," she told HealthLeaders.

For more information:
- see the statement
- read the HealthLeaders Media article
- see the South Florida Business Journal article

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