Georgia health system duped out of $1.2M recovers funds

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Dalton, Ga.-based Hamilton Health Care System has recovered most of the $1.2 million it was scammed out of by someone purporting to work for a construction company.

Four things to know:

1. In a Nov. 20 email to hospital management, someone claiming to be the CFO of Brasfield & Gorrie, a construction company that has been working with HHCS, requested the hospital electronically wire payments instead of paying by check.

2. After the person claiming to be the construction company executive provided a voided check from Harris Bank, Steven Bridenstine, director of finance and treasury services at HHCS, wired the account two payments totaling more than $1.2 million.

3. Mr. Bridenstine called the construction company a week after sending the second payment. Company officials said they did not request wired payments, and they never received the funds from HHCS. Mr. Bridenstine immediately reported the alleged wire fraud to local police.

4. HHCS has recovered the bulk of the funds. "Through the efforts of our dedicated Hamilton team, the assistance of the FBI and Dalton Police Department and continued engagement with the applicable banking institutions, $1,157,144.91 of the funds have been successfully recovered," Jeff Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Care System, said in an email to Becker's Hospital Review. The health system will continue to work with the FBI and local authorities to recover the remaining funds.

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