Two financial analysts who worked at Outcome Health and reported to former EVP of business operations/chief growth officer Ashik Desai, changed their ‘not guilty’ pleas to ‘guilty’ earlier this month. Kathryn Choi and Oliver Han were charged with wire fraud by Federal prosecutors. As part of their guilty plea, they will cooperate with prosecutors, as did their former boss Mr. Desai.
As reported in our earlier articles, Ms. Choi and Mr. Han are alleged to have created statements to deceive company auditors and providing advertisers with false patient engagement metrics on Outcome Health’s tablets. Both were hired in 2014 and placed on leave in late 2017. While the charges they face carry a maximum penalty of five years, their cooperation may lead to far lighter sentences.
Their change of plea was rather predictable, given that two fairly young and junior staffers faced Federal charges in a classic squeeze play to obtain further information on the big fish, former Chief Executive Rishi Shah, former President Shradha Agarwal, and former executive Brad Purdy (COO/CFO), who face real prison time and large financial penalties. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Outcome Health’s principals are charged with 26 criminal charges of fraud in their funding raises of over $1 bn from 2011 to 2017. Advertisers were defrauded for ads which never ran in medical audiences and third-party studies were manipulated to enhance their results. The indictment details deception of their investors, lenders, and their own auditors for profit and misrepresenting to advertisers their delivery of actual advertising in doctors’ offices.