Marketing agency owner sentenced to year in prison for kickback scheme
MADISON, Wis. — An Illinois-dependent marketing agency operator was sentenced to federal prison Friday for his job in a kickback plan with an govt of a Janesville healthcare provider.
Ryan Weckerly, 48, was sentenced to 1 calendar year and a person working day in jail, adopted by six months of house confinement and two and a half decades of supervised release for wire fraud and aiding in the planning of untrue tax returns. Office of Justice officers mentioned he and co-defendant Barbara Bortner engaged in a kickback plan. Weckerly owns Morningstar Media Group and Morningstar Interactive, which operated as Invironments Journal.
All through the scheme, officers said Bortner labored as the vice president of marketing and community relations at Janesville-centered Mercyhealth. Involving 2015 and 2020, Weckerly would ship Bortner inflated invoices for work that Morningstar did for Mercyhealth. She would approve the invoices and Mercyhealth would pay out Weckerly.
Weckerly would then give some of that funds back to Bortner. In exchange for the dollars, Bortner agreed to make Morningstar Mercyhealth’s principal marketing agency.
Bortner allegedly made a fictitious organization, WeInspire LLC, to disguise the kickback payments. Officials mentioned Weckerly wrote checks totaling above $2 million to the company. Documents also reportedly show that Weckerly gave Bortner more than $1 million in money kickback payments.
An audit of Bortner’s tax returns by the IRS in Could 2019 allegedly located that she tried to go off WeInspire as a legit corporation that was functioning with Weckerly’s Invironments Magazine, on the other hand, in a Sort 1099 supplied to Bortner, Weckerly only reported the examine payments that had been given to WeInspire and did not incorporate money payments presented to Bortner.
Weckerly and Bortner were being ordered to fork out in the vicinity of $2.5 million in restitution to Mercyhealth. Bortner was sentenced to 3 and a 50 % decades in jail previous thirty day period.
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