Former Alabama Department of Corrections Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights and Obstruction Offenses for Assaulting a Restrained Inmate and Lying to Cover It Up
BIRMINGHAM – Federal agents this morning arrested JONATHAN WADE DUNNING, former chief executive officer of two non-profit health clinics for the poor and homeless, based on a 112-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Atlanta Regional Office Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson
The superseding indictment against Dunning, 51, of Hoover, was unsealed this morning following his arrest at a resort hotel in Hoover. The indictment includes charges of a seven-year conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering related to Dunning’s involvement with Birmingham Health Care (BHC), Central Alabama Comprehensive Health (CACH), Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union (BFFCU), and a group of for-profit businesses known as the “Synergy Entities.” Over the years, according to the charges, BHC and CACH received millions of dollars in federal grant funds through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to further their missions of providing healthcare services to underserved populations.
According to the superseding indictment, Dunning was the CEO of BHC and CACH for a period of time and left those jobs to run his for-profit businesses. Even after leaving as CEO, however, Dunning continued to exercise control over BHC and CACH, according to the Superseding Indictment. It is further alleged that Dunning served as president, board chairman, and/or loan officer at BFFCU during a period between October 2008 and October 2011.
The superseding indictment charges that, from these various positions, Dunning participated in a conspiracy and executed schemes to defraud that deprived BHC, CACH, and others of substantial resources, including federal funds. The indictment further alleges that Dunning engaged in money laundering. The indictment seeks forfeiture of all proceedings of the alleged crimes.
"Criminals don't get to live lavish lifestyles by stealing federal money meant to provide healthcare to the poor and the homeless," Vance said. "My office will vigorously prosecute health care fraud; working to ensure that these funds go to the people they are intended to help, and to see that criminals go to jail.”
“The allegations against Mr. Dunning are disturbing, and yet another shocking example of abusing the public’s trust," Stanton said. "There is simply no acceptable level of corruption and the FBI and our partners will continue to bring to justice those who choose to line their pockets with stolen tax dollars.”
“Jonathan Dunning is charged with defrauding agencies that received government funding," Hyman-Pillot said. "He is accused of misusing his authority and laundering money to businesses he controlled. He orchestrated a scheme fueled by greed and deceit that ultimately affects all taxpayers,” she said. “IRS Criminal Investigation specializes in complex financial investigations and we take pride in exposing money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the nature of their proceeds. Anyone who facilitates or participates in such schemes will be investigated and brought to justice.”
"The indictment and arrest of Mr. Dunning display our agency's commitment to ensuring that individuals who are accused of defrauding government programs intended for our nation's most vulnerable citizens answer for their actions," Jackson said. "To divert money from these programs to one's own personal use must come with serious consequences."
FBI, IRS-CID, and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tamarra Matthews-Jonson and Melissa K. Atwood are prosecuting.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.