The leader of a complex, long-term fraud scheme that involved impersonating Cerner employees was sentenced to federal prison Monday and ordered to pay $19 million in restitution.
Albert Davis, 56, of Richardson, Texas, was sentenced by a federal judge in Kansas City to 12 years in federal prison.
Davis pleaded guilty in October in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The elaborate scheme involved Davis and his co-conspirators pretending to be employees of Cerner, the health care information technology company based in North Kansas City, to solicit money from investors, obtain bank loans, conduct business transactions and win judgments in civil lawsuits.
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According to federal prosecutors, Davis and his co-conspirators “developed a scheme to use Cerner Corporation’s reputation and standing in the medical field to manipulate business transactions and court proceedings in their favor.”
In one case involving the sale of an MRI system to a Texas hospital, conspirators created phony Cerner invoices, and two payments totaling more that $1 million were wired by the hospital to a phony Cerner bank account before the scheme was uncovered, according to court documents.
The FBI began investigating after the hospital contacted Cerner to help with installation of the system and learned that the company had nothing to do with the deal.
As part of his plea agreement, defense attorneys asked for a sentence of eight years, while federal prosecutors requested a sentence of 12 years in prison.
“A former Eagle Scout, a graduate of West Point Military Academy, and a former Army Ranger instructor, medical innovator, and job creator, Albert Davis is a driven and committed father and entrepreneur,” defense attorneys Cheryl Pilate and Brian Gaddy said in a written sentencing memorandum. “Unfortunately, and to his deep regret, his fierce sense of purpose and drive caused him to fly far off the track and into the realm of fraudulent criminal conduct.”
They cited his acceptance of responsibility and cooperation in resolving a number of other cases in asking for the lesser sentence.
“Mr. Davis fully appreciates the scope of his misconduct and is deeply remorseful and repentant,” his attorneys wrote. “He has committed the remainder of his life to making amends and trying to repair the damage he has caused.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Wolesky, in arguing for the 12-year sentence, said Davis should not be allowed to use his West Point education as a mitigating factor because he used it to gain the trust of people he victimized.
“This case involves perjured testimony, doctored trial exhibits, a manipulated multi-million dollar civil verdict, a fake bankruptcy filing, the use of fake people with fake email accounts, impersonated companies — and a phalanx of over seventy entities to conceal it,” Wolesky said in a written memorandum.
Wolesky said Davis did not choose to impersonate Cerner “by accident.”
“Like his West Point degree, this defendant knew that Cerner Corporation’s reputation in the medical community would open doors otherwise unavailable to him,” Wolesky wrote. “Therefore, Davis and his co-conspirators created an infrastructure of fraud to impersonate Cerner Corporation, all of which was designed to mislead would-be business partners or investors.”