Crain’s Headlines: Former Outcome Health Executive Ashik Desai Pleads Guilty

A former executive at the center of a fraud scheme at health care advertising firm Outcome Health pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud.

Ashik Desai, 26, who rose from an intern to lead business development at the Chicago-based company, is cooperating with prosecutors. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing federal investigation into Outcome – several others have been charged. Federal prosecutors say the company billed advertisers for more screens than it actually had, and inflated the amount of additional prescriptions that resulted. 

In other Chicago-area news:

Local data analytics and software services company Uptake cut 23 jobs on Friday. One of the city’s most visible and highly valued startups has seen its head count shrink by close to half in two years thanks to company cuts and attrition.

Founder Brad Keywell said in a blog post that “bigger is better … until it isn’t,” and that “right-sizing can be painful,” but the only way to stay sustainable. Keywell’s ultimate goal was to let industrial companies pull in massive amounts of data, from factory equipment to sales in the field, and analyze it in real time to make operations more efficient.

Loyola Medicine is boosting its lowest paid wage to $15 an hour in the new year. That wage hike will cost the company $3 million and will affect a third of the workers at Loyola’s three hospitals. Some workers already earn more than $15.

Loyola joins several other hospital chains proactively lifting wages above government minimums. The state’s current $8.25 minimum wage is rising by a dollar in the new year.

Chicago is on track to boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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