Physician, former COO charged in $650K theft from West Virginia practice

Francisco Ortiz and James Brooks Mersing, MD, have been charged in connection with a theft of more than $650,000 from their former employer, Wedgewood Physicians in Morgantown, W.Va.

Mr. Ortiz served as chief operating officer for the company and allegedly used his position over a three-year period to divert funds for his personal benefit, according to a March 14 release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of West Virginia.

Mr. Ortiz also allegedly diverted funds for Dr. Mersing, a former physician at Wedgewood, by causing unauthorized bonuses to be paid to Dr. Mersing, who would then give a portion of the money to Mr. Ortiz.

Dr. Mersing faces 11 counts of bank fraud while Mr. Ortiz faces 31 counts. Each count could be punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

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