Michigan ACO executive sentenced to prison for stealing Medicare bonus

The former CEO of Southeast Michigan Accountable Care in Dearborn was sentenced Feb. 19 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud in connection with his theft of more than $3.4 million from the ACO, according to the Department of Justice.

Anthony Vespa was serving as executive director of SEMAC in the summer of 2017, when an audit of the ACO's checking account revealed funds had been misappropriated. SEMAC fired Mr. Vespa in August 2017. The next month, he opened a new account for SEMAC without the authority of the ACO.

The new account information was shared with Medicare, and Medicare deposited the ACO's shared savings bonus for 2016 into the account. After the $3.9 million bonus was deposited, Mr. Vespa wrote checks and wire transferred money out of the account for his personal use.

"The defendant had a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard the funds of the victims' who trusted him to that task," FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven D'Antuono said in a release. "Even after his scheme to defraud was uncovered, the defendant continued his deceitful scheme to defraud which makes it even more reprehensible."

In addition to the prison term, Mr. Vespa was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit the full $3.4 million he stole from SEMAC. After his release from prison, Mr. Vespa will serve a two-year term of supervised release.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
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