Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former MetroHealth Official, Three Dentists
by Nick Castele
A former executive at MetroHealth Medical Center has been indicted by a federal grand jury. The charges include racketeering and conspiracy to commit bribery.
The indictment alleges that Dr. Edward Hills gave MetroHealth dentists special treatment in exchange for cash and such gifts as a TV and Louis Vuitton briefcase.
“And those actions that he took for the benefit of his codefendants, they involved approving inflated bonuses to his codefendants and others, allowing them to work at private dental clinics when they should have been working at MetroHealth,” U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said in a press conference announcing the indictment.
Hills directed MetroHealth Dental and also served as the hospital’s chief operating officer from 2010 to 2014. He was interim CEO in part of 2013.
Three other dentists, Sari Alqsous, Yazan B. Al-Madani and Tariq Sayegh, were also indicted in the case.
The indictment also alleges that Hills sent dental residents to work at private dental clinics run by two of his codefendants, while those residents were being paid by MetroHealth.
“Hills also referred Medicaid patients to those dental clinics when those Medicaid patients could have been and should have been treated at MetroHealth,” Rendon said.
Additionally, the three dentists are accused of soliciting bribes from dental residents.
MetroHealth CEO Akram Boutros said in a message to employees that he was “sad and disheartened” by the charges.
The assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in Cleveland, Todd Wickerham, said the hospital’s cooperation was important to the case.
“Through a strong corporate compliance culture, MetroHealth brought the initial allegation of corruption to the FBI, and was cooperative throughout the entire course of the investigation,” Wickerham said.
An attorney for Hills hasn’t yet returned a request for comment.