Judge scolds former Austintown rehab center operator seeking delay of $24M restitution
A federal judge has issued a harsh rebuke to the former operator of an Austintown drug rehab clinic who claims prison officials are “extorting” funds being sent to him in prison.
Ryan Sheridan, currently serving a 7-and-a-half-year sentence in a federal medical facility in Lexington, Kentucky, filed a motion addressed to a U.S. District Court alleging that prison officials are claiming the fifty dollars sent to him by his daughters each month to help him pay for hygiene products, stamps, printing services, and computer use in the prison.
Sheridan claims that prison officials are taking the money sent by his daughters, as well as the $19.80 he earns each month at his prison job to help pay court-ordered restitution of $24 million.
The restitution was ordered after Sheridan pleaded guilty to 34 counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and money laundering in connection with an investigation into the Braking Point Addiction Recovery Center on Route 46.
In his motion, Sheridan stated that his friends are few and he depends on the money sent by his daughters.
Sheridan asked Judge Benita Pearson to halt the collection of the restitution until he completes his prison term on August 27, 2025.
Judge Pearson has denied the request saying that the government has the right to collect 24% of his monthly prison income, adding that Sheridan cited no law in his motion that would prohibit that.
“Moreover, he is hardly in the position to claim hardship in continuing to make such payments towards his $24.4 million restitution obligation in light of the harm he has criminally caused to the victims of his health care fraud and drug crimes in support of the conspiracy to exploit Medicaid,” Judge Pearson wrote in her order issued last week.
Pearson stated that the fact remains that when an inmate receives resources from any source, the law requires that the inmate is required to apply the value of those resources to any restitution or fine still owed.
In addition to forfeiting his homes in Girard and Leetonia, Sheridan was forced to give up seven vehicles, including a 1981 DeLorean DMC Gullwing, called a “Back to the Future” vehicle in court documents; as well as the 1959 Cadillac Hearse, dubbed the “Ghostbusters” vehicle.