February 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Texas chiropractor pleads guilty to massive insurance fraud
Article provided by Law Office of Paul Schiffer
Visit us at http://www.schifferlawfirm.com
Federal authorities do not take allegations of fraud lightly. Although many people do not realize it, fraud and other white-collar crimes are prosecuted just as aggressively -- and punished just as severely -- as some violent crimes and drug crimes.
An illustrative example of the consequences that can result from a fraud conviction can be found in the recent case of a Houston-area chiropractor who pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud automobile insurance companies. He now faces a possible sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. In addition, he will be required to pay $1.2 million in restitution to the insurance companies he is accused of defrauding.
According to a statement from the Houston Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the chiropractor entered into a scheme with the office manager of a personal injury law firm. In exchange for cash payments of $2,000 each month, the chiropractor agreed to provide medical evaluations to the law firm's clients and make recommendations for their future care. However, in many cases the chiropractor allegedly recommended care without ever actually evaluating the clients. In others, he recommended excessive care, charging the insurance companies for more procedures than were actually provided.
In addition, when care was provided, the chiropractor did not perform it himself. Instead, he outsourced the work to untrained assistants who were not licensed chiropractors.
Federal authorities further alleged that the chiropractor changed his clinic name four times in order to continue the conspiracy. All told, approximately $3 million in false billing claims were submitted to a variety of automobile insurance companies.
The chiropractor pled guilty to these allegations at a January 22, 2013 hearing. He is expected to be sentenced in late April.
Defending Texas white-collar crimes
The case goes to show just how seriously the government treats allegations of health care fraud, insurance fraud and other white-collar crimes. Individuals convicted of these offenses face the possibility of spending decades in prison. Those who receive lesser prison sentences can still expect to face significant fines and loss of professional licensure.
In addition to investigating fraud against private insurers, the federal government is also making a renewed effort to crack down on suspected cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. With the federal budget as tenuous as it is, authorities have identified increased fraud enforcement as a way to reduce overall health care costs.
Defending allegations of healthcare fraud is a very complicated process requiring a complex understanding of both federal law and the evidence at hand. If you are facing fraud allegations, be sure to consult with an experienced Texas white-collar crime defense attorney.---
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