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$41.5M in forfeitures, restitutions collected

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Ohio collected more than $14.3 million in criminal and civil orders during fiscal year 2021.

“Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the Financial Litigation Program in the Northern District was able to pursue and recover considerable funds from numerous civil and criminal judgments,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler said. “When this office represents the United States of America and secures a collection judgment, we will seek to recover every dollar possible.”

Also, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland, working with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice agencies across the country, collected an additional $27.2 million in criminal and civil cases pursued jointly.

That accounts for a combined total of $41.54 million collected during 2021.

Notable collections and forfeitures include:

• Chad M. Stellato, 47, of Langhorne, Pa., pleaded guilty in December 2020 to defrauding Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in Alliance, Boardman and other locations via a fraudulent purchase and return scheme. Stellato was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $594,799. Final payment was collected within six months of sentencing;

• John D. Chime II, 47; Jerry L. Stackhouse, 65; and Rogelio Alonso Jr., 33, all living in communities in north central Ohio, were convicted of orchestrating a real-estate investment scheme in 2012 and were ordered to pay $677,493 in restitution. Final restitution was collected in December 2021;

• In the lawsuit settlement from Ethical Solutions LLC, et al. vs. Akron General Health System, et al., Akron General Health System agreed in July to pay more than $21 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it had improper relationships with certain referring physicians, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Medicare program;

• In the lawsuit settlement from USA v. Shaffer Pharmacy, et al, the Toledo pharmacy agreed to pay $375,000 to resolve a civil suit filed under the Controlled Substances Act alleging that the pharmacy and two individuals filled prescriptions that did not have a legitimate medical purpose.

While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the Justice Department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs and a variety of law enforcement purposes.

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