Former Rush hospital COO indicted in alleged fraud, money laundering scheme

Robert Spadoni, former vice president and COO of Rush Oak Park (Ill.) Hospital, has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the hospital out of $622,000. He is charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of money laundering. 

The indictment did not specifically name Rush as the health system Mr. Spadoni worked for, but a Rush spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review that he worked at its Oak Park hospital from November 1995 to July 2021, and served as its COO during the time period that the indictment covers.

According to the indictment, Mr. Spadoni caused the hospital to enter into a professional services agreement with Medical Education Solutions — a company that he founded — despite the hospital's conflict of interest policy, which prohibited employees and their families from having a financial interest in the hospital or seeking to do business with it.

The MES-hospital contract was for MES to provide administrative support and compliance services to Rush Oak Park's podiatry residency program, according to the Justice Department.

Under terms of the agreement, the hospital agreed to pay $6,500 a month for services Mr. Spadoni allegedly knew would not be provided by MES. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Spadoni concealed his and a family member's financial interest in the company, providing a direct report with a $1,500 monthly cash payment to perform administrative support and compliance services covered by the agreement. Mr. Spadoni and the family member are also alleged to have used the remaining funds obtained from the hospital for their own personal benefit.

"As soon as the misappropriation was identified, the employee was removed, and a detailed forensic audit and internal investigation began to gather all relevant information to share with the appropriate authorities," a Rush spokesperson told Becker's. "We continue to work closely with the proper authorities as the case enters the next phase. The new leadership team at Rush Oak Park Hospital has implemented a number of strategic initiatives intended to bolster the trusted relationships we all expect from our healthcare providers."

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