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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 7, 2021

Ex-President of Ohio Healthcare Management Company Sentenced to Prison in $59 Million Check Kiting Scheme Targeting S&T Bank

PITTSBURGH, PA - The former president of an Ohio healthcare management company has been sentenced in federal court to 42 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release on his conviction of bank fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan imposed the sentence on Harold Sosna, age 68, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Harold Sosna received a long prison sentence which is consistent with the magnitude of his fraud scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Kaufman. “He cheated community banks in western Pennsylvania and Ohio of an astounding sum - $59 million. Sosna is responsible for the largest bank fraud scheme ever prosecuted in our District.”

“Mr. Sosna has now been sentenced and held accountable for his greed and negligence in gaming the banking system,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI investigates these matters aggressively to safeguard the financial industry. Fraud of this magnitude will not be tolerated.”

The court was advised that during the time of the check kite, Sosna was the president of Premier Healthcare Management (Premier), located in Blue Ash, Ohio. It owned and operated nine nursing care facilities in southern and central Ohio. Premiere provided in-facility, post-acute, and long-term care for individuals recovering from medical procedures, as well as assisted living services through various corporate entities. Each entity had a subsidiary relationship with Premier and operated individual bank accounts at various banks to include S&T Bank, headquartered in Indiana Pennsylvania, and First Financial Bank, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to information provided during his plea hearing, Sosna wrote checks between various S&T Bank and First Financial Bank accounts under his control and associated with Premier, in increasing dollar amounts. This was done to manipulate the numerical balance in the accounts and thereby create the false and fraudulent appearance that the defendant had sufficient legitimate available funds in various accounts, and to trick the banks into honoring checks drawn against accounts with insufficient funds. Between May 15, 2020, and May 18, 2020, by writing and negotiating checks, Sosna, sent more than $118,000,000.00 through S&T Bank and First Financial Bank, which were unfunded amounts and were the equivalent of obtaining money from the banks without actual properly secured loans. A total of 203 checks were negotiated in execution of his scheme. S&T Bank incurred a loss of $59,240,000.00.

Assistant United States Attorneys Robert S. Cessar and Jeffrey R. Bengel prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Sosna.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 7, 2021