A federal judge on Friday, October 14, sentenced the former chief executive of two non-profit health clinics for the poor and homeless to 18 years in prison for funneling millions in federal grant money to private companies he formed to contract with the clinics.
Jonathan Wade Dunning, 53, of Hoover, was sentenced for conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The judge ordered Dunning to pay $13.5 million in restitution to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union and the non-profit health clinics Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health.
Dunning orchestrated and led a criminal enterprise for his personal benefit that involved an extensive conspiracy and scheme to defraud HHS, HRSA, the non-profit clinics BHC and CACH, the credit union and others, out of more than $16 million over the course of seven years, the government said in its sentencing memorandum.
A federal jury in June convicted Dunning on 98 of 112 charged counts related to his involvement with BHC, CACH, BFFCU, and a group of for-profit businesses known as the “Synergy Entities.” Over the years, BHC and CACH received millions of dollars in federal grant funds through HRSA to further their missions of providing healthcare services to underserved populations.
Dunning was the chief executive officer of BHC and CACH for a period of time and left those jobs to run his for-profit businesses. Even after leaving his post as CEO, however, Dunning continued to exercise control over BHC and CACH. Between October 2008 and October 2011, Dunning served as president, board chairman and loan officer of the Birmingham credit union. From those various positions, he led the conspiracy that defrauded BHC, CACH, their funding agencies, and others.