Psychic readings among expenses in audit report detailing fraud by former W. Michigan CEO
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. —
The state of Michigan is bringing to light new allegations against a former West Michigan CEO.
It's a story Newschannel 3 has been following since 2015. The final report was released showing dozens of allegations of wrong-doing at Summit Pointe Community Mental Health in Battle Creek.
He was the chief executive officer of Summit Pointe in Battle Creek for seven years, and from psychic readings to a bobcat costume and increasing his own benefits, the final report shows years of discrepancies in his bookkeeping and illegal activity.
In 2016, a judge sentenced the 71-year-old from Delton to 32 months to 10 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to embezzling and Medicaid fraud for diverting public funds while CEO of the Summit Pointe Community Mental Health Authority.
The state released the final report Oct. 6. It outlines the findings of a more than three-year investigation into how Brinker handled the finances at Summit Pointe.
In one part, the state found that without board approval, Brinker made multiple amendments to the employee benefits package for himself and others. The audit found more than $13 million in illegal contributions that were never cleared with the Summit Pointe board. In one email, uncovered in the report from 2009, Brinker and other employees were quoted as saying, "Wow, I can't believe we pulled this off."
The audit showed that Brinker spent more than $500,000 on psychic services, nearly $87,000 spent on travel, gave $65,000 in gifts and $830 spent on a bobcat costume for what the report calls "an unknown reason."
The report also found more than $1 million in Medicaid contracts were billed for things such as snow removal, a skate park and a virtual school.
In all, the audit found more than $2.5 million in expenditures that were not supported by receipts or invoices.
The report also includes a 29-point corrective action plan, showing everything Summit Pointe has already done to fix Brinker’s illegal actions and more recommendations made by the state to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.
As part of his sentencing in 2016, Brinker was ordered to pay back more than $1 million. He also had to give up his pension from the state.
- Brinker sentenced to prison for embezzlement
- Former mental health facility CEO accused of embezzling over $500K