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Former LH CTO charged with helping embezzle USD 4,86000

A former Loretto Hospital executive was charged Friday with helping embezzle nearly half a million dollars at the height of the pandemic.

Heather Bergdahl, 37, the hospital’s former chief transformation officer, is charged with embezzlement from a federally-funded program.

The charges are the first from an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into Loretto’s Covid-19 vaccination program, after the hospital admitted to giving hundreds of Covid shots to people who were not yet eligible to get them.

In a criminal complaint, Bergdahl is accused of cutting $486,540 worth of checks to companies run by a former top executive at Loretto, even though the companies hadn’t performed work for the hospital.

That former executive is not named in the charges, but according to the Chicago Tribune and Block Club Chicago, it is Loretto’s former chief financial officer and chief operating officer, Dr. Anosh Ahmed. According to the feds, he deposited the checks into the companies’ bank accounts, then transferred the money to other accounts he controlled.

Ahmed resigned from Loretto in March 2021, after the hospital had arranged Covid-19 vaccinations for hundreds of well-connected people who were not yet eligible for the shots at a time when vaccinations were in short supply.

Then-CEO George Miller was suspended for two weeks shortly after Ahmed resigned, after he admitted to arranging for vaccines for people who weren’t eligible to get them, including workers at Trump Tower, and members of an Oak Forest church.

Miller later left Loretto in April 2022.

The Chicago Department of Public Health cut off Loretto’s supply of Covid-9 vaccines in March 2021, after learning about the scandal. The city later restored vaccinations at the hospital about a month later, after stepping in to run a new clinic to make sure shots went to those who were eligible. CBS News

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