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Illinois Man Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Kickback Scheme Involving a Janesville Hospital

According to a press release from the Department of Justice - U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Wisconsin, 48 year old Sycamore, Illinois resident Ryan Weckerly was sentenced on Friday to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison for wire fraud and aiding in the preparation of a false tax return. The prison sentence will be followed by 6 months of home confinement and 2.5 years of supervised release.

The government’s investigation revealed that between 2015 and 2020, Weckerly and co-defendant Barbara Bortner engaged in a kickback scheme in which Weckerly submitted inflated invoices to Bortner for his marketing work for a hospital in Janesville. During the scheme, Bortner was the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations of the hospital. Once Bortner approved his marketing invoices, Weckerly received payments from the hospital and provided money to Bortner using either cash or checks. In return for the payments, Bortner agreed to use Weckerly’s business as the primary marketing agency for the hospital.

In order to disguise the true nature of the kickback payments, Bortner created a fictitious company named WeInspire LLC. During the timeframe of the kickback scheme, Weckerly wrote over 103 checks to WeInspire LLC from one of his business accounts. The cumulative total of these checks was $2,051,975. In addition, bank records show that Weckerly provided Bortner with over $1 million in cash kickback payments.

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