Former marketing director pleads guilty to defrauding hospital

Barbara Bortner, 57, former vice president of marketing and public relations for Mercyhealth of Janesville, has pleaded guilty to fraud in a scheme that resulted in a loss of more than $3.1 million, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. Bortner faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion. Bortner, along with an alleged accomplice, is accused of defrauding the health care provider using kickbacks from inflated invoices for marketing services. Bortner agreed she owes the Internal Revenue Service $777,803 in restitution for underpaid taxes, but the restitution amount Bortner will owe to Mercyhealth will be set when she is sentenced. Bortner’s alleged accomplice, Ryan Weckerly, 46, is the owner of two marketing agencies in Sycamore, Illinois.