Former MetroHealth COO indicted for fraud, accepting bribes

The former COO of Cleveland-based MetroHealth System, Edward Hills, DDS, and three others have been arrested and charged for their involvement in a RICO conspiracy, according to Crain's Cleveland Business.

The charges against Dr. Hills and his co-defendants, who are also dentists, are included in a 33-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. All four men are charged with crimes related to their work at MetroHealth's dental program, according to the report.

Dr. Hills, who served as MetroHealth COO and director of the system's dental program from 2010 through December 2014, reportedly received kickbacks for boosting his co-defendants' bonuses. Those kickbacks, which totaled $250,000, included a $4,000 briefcase and a television set, among other gifts. 

Dr. Hills also reportedly referred Medicaid patients to private dental businesses owned by his co-defendants. He received $17,600 in kickbacks for those referrals, according to the report.

The FBI launched its investigation in 2014 after receiving a tip from a MetroHealth official. In a statement issued to Crain's Cleveland Business, MetroHealth said it has cooperated with the FBI in the investigation.

Dr. Hills and his co-defendants are charged with engaging in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act conspiracy that involved witness tampering, bribery and other misconduct, according to the report.

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