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Madison, WI (KROC AM News) - A former top executive of a Wisconsin health care company headed by a Rochester area man has been sentenced for a huge fraud case involving the firm.

Sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Madison was 57-year-old Barbara Bortner of Milton, Wisconsin. She was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion.

Bortner was Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Mercyhealth in Janesville when she conspired with a man to carry out the multi-million scam.

The CEO of Mercyhealth is Javon Bea, who also owns the Rochester Kahler Hotel properties.

Federal prosecutors determined Bortner and co-defendant Ryan Weckerly ran the kickback scheme from 2015 to 2020. Weckerly was hired to do marketing work for Mercyhealth. Prosecutors say after she approved his marketing invoices, Weckerly received payments from Mercyhealth and provided money to Bortner using either cash or checks.

Bank records show that Weckerly provided Bortner with over $1,000,000 in cash kickback payments. By the time the scam was uncovered, the total monetary amount of the fraud was $3,136,200.72.


US Attorney/Wisconsin
US Attorney/Wisconsin

Weckerly will be sentenced on May 17th and a restitution hearing for both has been scheduled in July.

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