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Aaron Rossi from Reditus Labs faces new criminal charges as federal probe expands

Aaron Rossi walking out of courthouse
WCBU file photo
Reditus Labs CEO Aaron Rossi of Bloomington is awaiting a trial on federal criminal charges.

Federal prosecutors are expanding their criminal case against Aaron Rossi, adding several charges that accuse the Reditus Labs CEO of lying about being a physician and stealing from his former employer.

Rossi, of Bloomington, was charged in March with three counts of federal tax fraud. This week, Rossi was indicted in six additional counts of mail fraud, adding to a litany of legal problems for an entrepreneur whose company, Reditus, made hundreds of millions in state contracts for COVID-19 testing and brought hundreds of jobs to Pekin.

In the new charges, Rossi is accused of defrauding his former employer, Central Illinois Orthopedic Surgery in Bloomington, from 2014 to 2018. Rossi was office manager there and also worked as a surgical assistant. Prosecutors say Rossi defrauded the business and its owners out of more than $1 million. He used the money to lease a private jet, make payments on a personal credit card, and to buy an A/V system for his home, prosecutors said. The mail fraud charges relate to several Amazon purchases Rossi allegedly made in 2017 as part of the scheme, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors say part of the scheme involved Rossi falsely portraying himself as a physician, which he was not. (He went to medical school in Barbados but never got licensed in Illinois and never did a residency.) Prosecutors say he kept doing this even after the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) told him to stop.

Rossi's spokesperson, Natalie Bauer Luce, issued a statement to WGLT in response to the new charges:

“We are very disappointed the government chose to expend public resources to intervene in a private dispute between former business partners based on claims about minor e-commerce purchases from 5 years ago," she said. "Aaron is proud of his record of building a successful business and creating hundreds of jobs for his community. We look forward to an aggressive defense in court to dispel these claims. Aaron is tremendously grateful for the love and support of his family, friends and community during this challenging time."

The new criminal charges echo in part the allegations made by IDFPR against Rossi in a complaint earlier this year. IDFPR accused Rossi of prescribing medications at least eight times without authorization, among other charges. The status of that disciplinary proceeding is unclear.

After Rossi’s time at Central Illinois Orthopedic Surgery, he reopened the orthotics company PAL Health Technologies in Pekin and launched Reditus Labs, which secured contracts through the state of Illinois totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for coronavirus testing. Rossi and Reditus remain entangled in civil litigation in Tazewell County court, with former business partners accusing Rossi of mismanaging the company’s money and lavishly spending it on himself. Rossi did amass a fleet of luxury cars and at least two private planes, WGLT has reported.

Financial management of Reditus is currently under a receivership, which a judge approved to remove Rossi from having any control of the company’s finances. He’s still listed as CEO on Reditus’ website.

Rossi has pleaded not guilty to the earlier criminal charges. His spokesperson has said Rossi’s opponents are trying his case in the media and they “look forward to having our day in court.”

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.