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Man arrested for defrauding the Cleveland Clinic out of $2.8 million

Posted at 10:38 AM, Oct 20, 2017

An Ohio man is facing charges in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the Cleveland Clinic out of at least $2.8 million.

Wisam Rizk of Westlake, Ohio was charged in a 29-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, 27 counts of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He was arrested Thursday evening.

Rizk worked as Chief Technology Officer at Interactive Visual Health Records, a company formed by Cleveland Clinic Innovations to develop a visual medical charting concept of certain Clinic physicians into a functioning, marketable product, according to the indictment.

Rizk was hired at IVHR by Gary Fingerhut, the former executive director at Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Fingerhut has pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.

According to the indictment, Rizk and others created a fake company known as iStarFZE LLC (ISTAR) that did not actually perform or provide any goods or services.

Rizk caused ISTAR to submit a bid to the Clinic to develop and design IVHR’s software and to increase the price the Clinic paid for the software design and development, all without disclosing his financial interest in ISTAR, according to the indictment.

The investigation is ongoing.