CLEVELAND: A headhunter has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland Clinic out of $179,000 for allegedly billing for phantom nursing recruits.

Federal prosecutors announced the conspiracy charge Tuesday against 49-year-old Richard Zukowski of Parma.

A message seeking comment was left at a phone listed under his name.

Zukowski ran a recruiting firm and is accused of conspiring with a Cleveland Clinic executive to bill for 10 nonexistent nurse anesthetist recruits.

The government says the clinic administrator got a third of the recruiting commissions. The administrator wasnít identified, and the government didnít comment on the personís status.

Zukowski was charged in a court filing that usually signals an upcoming plea agreement. No attorney was listed for him in the court docket.