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Published: Wednesday, 5/5/2010

Toledo businessman accused in billing scheme involving Toledo Hospital

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The scheme Toledo businessman John Briggle allegedly used to bilk Cleveland Public Schools out of thousands of dollars — and possibly Toledo Public Schools as well — also may have been used locally to steal money from Toledo Hospital.

Mr. Briggle, 56, was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury Wednesday on one count of aggravated theft. He is accused of orchestrating a scheme with a former hospital employee in which his company billed the hospital for about $150,000 worth of printing supplies that were not delivered.

The embezzlement scheme is similar to one investigators believe occurred at Toledo Public Schools, allegedly involving Mr. Briggle and former TPS administrator Dan Burns. In that case, in excess of $500,000 is believed to have been stolen from the school district.

Although the cases involve similar allegations, the incidents at the school districts and at Toledo Hospital are not related, authorities said.

Also indicted Wednesday in the incident involving Toledo Hospital was a former employee, Leonard P. Gorski, 55, of Toledo, who worked as a manager in the hospital's print shop. If convicted, the men face up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A Toledo Hospital spokesman said Wednesday that the hospital was aware of the indictment and released a statement.

"The Toledo Hospital is cooperating completely with the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office regarding this matter," the statement said. "…Mr. Gorski has not been employed by The Toledo Hospital since the summer of 2004. Over the last several years, The Toledo Hospital has put new automated systems and checks and balances in place to make it highly unlikely that anyone within the organization could repeat an embezzlement scheme similar to the one allegedly conducted by Mr. Gorski."

According to the indictment, the thefts from Toledo Hospital occurred between May, 2002 and July, 2004.



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