Feds seek more than $2.8 million, cars, from Braking Point owner
By Joe Gorman
Federal prosecutors are seeking to seize more than $2.8 million and several exotic cars from the former owner of Braking Point counseling center.
Paperwork filed Wednesday in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio said that the funds and cars were obtained from illegal acts on the part of Ryan Sheridan, including Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud and money laundering.
Although the motion says that the funds and cars came from illegal acts, neither Sheridan nor anyone else from Braking Point have been charged or indicted by federal authorities.
Sheridan is also a downtown developer with several projects in the works.
The 53-page motion included allegations that Braking Point was providing treatment in beds not licensed by the state; that prescriptions of suboxone and other drugs under the name of a doctor at the facility were against regulations because the doctor told investigators he never ordered the drugs or picked them up in person; sloppy bookkeeping; that Sheridan wanted to make at least $100,000 a week and would yell if the facility did not make that amount; and that criminal histories for employees or drug screenings were never performed when they were hired.
Sheridan did not return a message seeking comment Thursday. A spokeswoman for the Cleveland office of the FBI said the case is under seal and, because of that, she could not comment.
In January, authorities served a search warrant at Sheridan’s home in Leetonia and seized a DeLorean car and a vehicle that resembles a Batmobile. That followed a warrant served in October at the home by the FBI, where agents seized more than $390,000 in cash. Those are among the funds the government is asking to be forfeited.
Other vehicles the government is looking to seize include a hearse that is a replica of the vehicle in the movie “Ghostbusters” and a 2016 Cadillac Escalade. Among the cash is more than $2.2 million from a bank account and $326,000 from a financial services account.
The investigation is a joint operation including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Agency, Internal Revenue Service, the Ohio Attorney General’s health care fraud unit and the Ohio Pharmacy Board.
Also in October, the Trumbull County Coroner’s office ruled that the former Braking Point executive director, Thomas Dailey, 46, died of a drug overdose. Medicaid payments were suspended to Braking Point by the state because “a credible allegation of fraud exists based on evidence that the company is allowing a physician to dispense Suboxone without proper authorization from the Drug Enforcement Administration.”
Braking Point is appealing the suspension. It is no longer supplying drug or alcohol addiction services but is referring people to the Mahoning County Mental Health Board, according to a message on its website.
The motion says that several former employees of Braking Point provided tips to authorities, which started the investigation. At least 13 employees were quoted in the motion.