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FL Hospital Vendors Sentenced in Bribery Scheme

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 22, 2012

Four former healthcare vendors have been sentenced to prison terms of up to three and a half years for their roles in a bribery scheme that directed cash, goods and services to South Florida hospital executives in exchange for contracts worth $15 million, federal prosecutors said.

The four vendors are among the nine people, including three hospital executives, arrested last June in the bribery probe at two hospitals in Fort Lauderdale-based Memorial Healthcare System.

Sentenced for federal bribery convictions this month in U.S. District Court were: Thomas Kennedy, 44, of Davie, FL, to three and a half years in prison and three years of supervised released; Richard Cohen, 45, of Wellington, and Paul Chaiet, 48, a CPA, of Dania, to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release each; and Thomas Pacchioli, 52, of Weston, to three years probation with 180 days home confinement. The four former vendors were ordered to pay restitution.

Court documents and trial testimony showed that co-defendant Adil Osman, 64, the former director of facilities management at Memorial West in Pembroke Pines, accepted kickbacks from the vendors for thousands of dollars in home improvements, including new gutters, a swimming pool, fencing, and an electric generator.

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