Peter Rogan, the indicted former owner of Edgewater Hospital and Medical Center, has been in Canada for a while.
So when he finally appeared at the Dirksen building downtown to face perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges Friday, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan probably figured Rogan needed an update on all things Chicago.
“Welcome back,” Der-Yeghiayan said. “While you were away, the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups.”
Rogan, who is in his late 60s and surrendered to federal marshals Thursday, replied: “I’m aware of that, your Honor. As you know, Canada is hockey crazy.”
And then Der-Yeghiayan got down to business, officially taking note of Rogan’s not guilty plea to the charges. Rogan, who came to court wearing ankle restraints and an orange jumpsuit, is due back in court June 24, when his attorneys will argue for his pretrial release from custody.
If convicted as charged, Rogan faces a maximum of 50 years in prison and a $1 million fine, prosecutors said in court.
The one-time North Side hospital executive shuffled into a downtown federal courtroom Friday.
Edgewater Hospital closed in 2001 and entered into bankruptcy the following year after four doctors, a vice president and the management company running the hospital pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud charges involving the payment of kickbacks for patient referrals. In turn, those patients got hospitals tests and other services that weren’t medically necessary.
Rogan wasn’t charged criminally at the time, but in 2002, the government sued him for filing millions of dollars in false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. The government won a $64.3 million judgment, and the judge in the case found that Rogan lied on the stand, destroyed documents and obstructed justice.
The government went after millions of dollars it believed Rogan held in offshore accounts, but Rogan said he had no control over that money. The government charged him criminally with lying about that.
The feds say that offshore money was used to pay for Rogan’s wife’s expenses as well as service and maintenance of a 48-foot boat named “Fringe Benefit.”
Rogan moved to Vancouver in 2006 and was arrested there in 2008 by the Canadian Border Services Agency when he returned from a trip to China. He has been free on bond there but has fought his extradition back to the United States for years.