Long-Time Health Care Executive Charged With Embezzling $3 Million

The Department of Justice says Satava created hundreds of checks using the names of people covered by the company, then forged their signatures and deposited the checks in a personal account.(Photo: Dept. of Justice)
The Department of Justice says Satava created hundreds of checks using the names of people covered by the company, then forged their signatures and deposited the checks in a personal account.(Photo: Dept. of Justice)

A former executive with Ohio’s largest health insurance company has been charged with embezzling nearly $3 million over two decades.

Joseph Satava began working for Medical Mutual in 1971, and had worked his way up to Credit and Collections Manager. Starting in 1997, he allegedly created hundreds of checks using names of people and companies covered by the Cleveland-based insurer.

Justice Department Spokesman Mike Tobin says Satava’s scheme continued until last year.

“He would order Medical Mutual to pay a check to an employee if the company had just paid them. But then, instead of giving that check to the employee, he would forge it and deposit it as a third-party check in his own account. And he made sure the checks were drawn from a large account of hundreds of millions of dollars, so that a check for $3,000 or $4,000 or $5,000 would largely go undetected,” Tobin says.

Satava, 69, was charged in what’s called a bill of information, which usually means the defendant has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors.

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