Westlake man accused of defrauding Cleveland Clinic out of $2.8 million

(FOX 8 file photo)

CLEVELAND– A Westlake man was arrested on Thursday following accusations he defrauded the Cleveland Clinic out of $2.8 million.

Wisam Rizek was indicted on 29 counts, including wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

He worked as the chief technology officer at Interactive Visual Health Records, a company formed by Cleveland Clinic Innovations to develop a visual medical charting concept into a marketable product. Rizek was hired by Gary Fingerhut, the former executive director at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, who pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Rizk and others created a shell company, which submitted bids to the Clinic. He allegedly used that company, ISTAR, to increase the price the Cleveland Clinic paid for software design and development.

“Rizk utilized the trust that had been placed in him and his immense technical and organizational skill as weapons against the very company and associates who had entrusted him for the purpose of stealing close to $3 million,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony, in a news release on Friday.

The investigation is ongoing and Fingerhut is awaiting sentencing.