Jonathan W. Dunning (born c. 1963) is the former CEO of Birmingham Health Care (now Alabama Regional Medical Services) and founder of the Synergy Companies. He was convicted in 2016 on 98 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering related to contracts his for-profit businesses held with non-profit healthcare organizations.
Dunning grew up in Tarrant, the son of a steel worker. He worked in his uncle's convenience store as a young man. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a forward air controller. After leaving the military, Dunning earned master's degrees in business and education while working as a substance abuse counselor at a federally-subsidized medical center. He later assisted the center in obtaining grants and continued with the organization until he was promoted to CEO in 1998. As CEO he was credited with continuing to win grant funds to expand care.
In 2006 Dunning negotiated the purchase of a building, called the Medical Plaza, for $2.6 million. He later negotiated the sale of that building, then appraised at $6 million to his own company, for $2.8 million in January 2008, and began charging the clinic $25,000 per month to lease its space.
In November 2008 Dunning resigned from Birmingham Health Care and diversified his business into a number of related companies including Synergy Medical Solutions, Legacy Consulting Group, Drake Hogan Pharmacy and Dunning Partners Ltd. He also took over Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union. Synergy Medical Solutions handles billing, real estate, and healthcare management services to medical offices. Dunning Partners operates the La Dolce Vita and Villagio Italian restaurants in Hoover.
Dunning's role in steering funds from his two non-profit community health centers, Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health (CACH) in Tuskegee, to his for-profit businesses came under scrutiny from federal prosecutors. He was ultimately charged with unlawfully diverting more than $14 million and thereby supporting a lavish personal lifestyle from grants intended to provide health care to the poor. He was indicted by a grand jury on 112 counts in November 2014. He was arrested on February 2, 2015. His successor at BHC, former board member Jimmy Lacey, was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator before he died in December 2015. Others convicted as part of the scheme include former chief financial officer Terri Mollica; former bookkeeper Sheila Osborne Parker; and her son, James Parker, who all pleaded guilty. Another BHC employee, Shari Waltz, who had two children by Dunning, testified against him. She went on operate a Capstone Medical Resources psychology practice, and was convicted of Medicaid fraud in 2021.
After several delays, the trial began in May 2016 and he was convicted on June 17 on 98 of those counts before visiting U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein, who had stepped in for Judge L. Scott Coogler. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and another five years of probation. He was also required to pay more than $13.5 million in restitution to the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, the Alabama Regional Medical System, Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee, and the National Credit Union Administration.
Dunning is serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana. The beginning of his federal sentence was delayed while he spent time in the Jefferson County Jail for failure to pay child support to his former mistress. the mother of two of his children.
- Dunning, Johnathan (2007) Who's Mack Oliver. BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 141965117X
- Oliver, Mike (June 24, 2012) "Ties between Birmingham nonprofit and ex-CEO's companies raise questions." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (December 20, 2012) "Jonathan Dunning to be deposed in Birmingham Health Care lawsuit." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (November 24, 2014) "Jonathan Dunning to U.S. Attorney's office: Stop 'smear campaign'." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (January 8, 2015) "Judge tosses out sexual harassment case involving nonprofit CEO." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (March 2, 2015) "Indicted former nonprofit CEO withdraws $142,000 and now says he can't pay child support." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (October 28, 2015) "Ex-nonprofit CEO to judge: Throw out the charges—it wasn't fraud." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (May 22, 2016) "Questions linger as $14 million health fraud trial of Jonathan Dunning begins Monday." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (May 25, 2016) "Prosecutor: Former Birmingham Health Care CEO gave board member $25k before real estate deal." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (May 31, 2016) "Former CEO milked non-profit for profits, ex-lover testifies" The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (June 2, 2016) "Former non-profit CEO was still 'the boss' after stepping down, employees testify." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (June 4, 2016) "FBI accountant: Birmingham Health Care paid former CEO's companies $12.7 million over seven years." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (June 7, 2016) "Accountant: Birmingham Health Care books were a 'train wreck'." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (June 8, 2016) "Former child computer whiz testifies about company formed with former Birmingham Health Care CEO." The Birmingham News
- Steere, Tim (June 17, 2016) "Former Birmingham Health Care CEO found guilty of fraud." Birmingham Business Journal
- Oliver, Mike (October 14, 2016) "Former nonprofit CEO sentenced in $13.5 million health fraud." The Birmingham News
- Oliver, Mike (June 27, 2017) "Former nonprofit CEO now serving 18 years in Louisiana prison." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (January 29, 2021) "Former Birmingham psychologist gets federal prison, $1.5 million restitution in Medicaid fraud case." The Birmingham News