The former head of a healthcare management company that operates assisted living communities pleaded guilty to bank fraud Tuesday for carrying out a $59 million check-kiting scheme on banks in two states.
Harold Sosna, 67, the former president of Premier Health Care Management in suburban Cincinnati, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, according to the Department of Justice. Premier provides assisted living, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation at facilities operated by various corporate entities. Each entity had a subsidiary relationship with Premier and operated individual bank accounts at various banks, including S&T Bank in Pennsylvania and First Financial Bank in Ohio, the DOJ said.
Sosna reportedly wrote checks between various S&T Bank and First Financial Bank accounts in increasing dollar amounts. In doing so, the department said, he manipulated the account balances to make them appear inflated, allowing checks to clear that otherwise would have bounced.
Between May 15 and May 18, Sosna wrote and negotiated 203 checks totaling $118 million, “which were unfunded amounts and were equivalent of obtaining money from the banks without actual properly secured loans,” the DOJ said in a release. S&T Bank incurred a $59.24 million loss.
“He tried to game the system by floating money around to make it look like his accounts had millions of dollars in them,” FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman said. “Instead, he committed large-scale fraud.”
Sosna is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.