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Chiropractors among 11 charged in insurance fraud case

July 27, 2011 2:40:51 PM PDT
Authorities in New Jersey have charged 11 people, including three chiropractors, in connection with an insurance fraud case.

According to Attorney General Paula Dow's office, the accused were involved in two separate schemes which used "runners" to recruit patients to the chiropractors' practices.

According to investigators, the chiropractors used runners to identify and contact individuals who had recently been involved in motor vehicle accidents. The runners would then recruit those individuals to undergo chiropractic treatment. The chiropractors paid the runners money for recruiting patients to their practices. The recruitment of patients by the runners, and the subsequent treatment, enabled the chiropractors to file claims for payment from multiple insurance companies.

New Jersey law includes an "anti-running statute," which imposes criminal penalties for acting as a runner or using, directing, or employing a runner. The statute carries a presumptive sentence of three to five years in state prison, as well as other penalties.

"These alleged schemes involved chiropractors recruiting runners and runners recruiting patients, all in the name of greed," said Attorney General Dow. "Such conduct corrupts the insurance system because it gives powerful financial incentives that can influence a doctor's treatment decisions to maximize insurance billings."

Authorities arrested chiropractors Scott Greenberg, 51, of Franklin Township, Somerset County; Christopher Montana, 39, of Chester, Morris County, and Fernando Barrese, 39, of Washington Township, Bergen County.

Six alleged "runners" were also charged for their roles in an alleged scheme to bring patients to Greenberg's practice. Authorities said since February 2010, the six runners were paid a total of over $130,000 to recruit numerous patients to his practice.

The six people charged as runners are Orlando Sanchez, 44, of Perth Amboy; Jimmy A. Tovar, 35, of Perth Amboy; Abel Tirado, 36, of Allentown, Pa.; and Andres D. Sanchez Munoz, 42, of Perth Amboy.

Investigators also said Montana, Barrese and Oleg Gorodetsky, the office manager of Chiropractic Centre of Jersey City, conspired to use runners and to engage in financial transactions which facilitated their scheme. In this case, the runners allegedly recruited over 50 patients.

Oleg Gorodetsky, 41, of Staten Island and Alcindor Robin, 56, of Elizabeth, were also charged.

The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor today also executed search warrants at the following locations:

? Chiropractic Centre of Elizabeth, located at 426 Morris Ave. in Elizabeth; ? Chiropractic Centre of Newark, located at 509 Orange Street in Newark; ? Chiropractic Centre of Jersey City, located at 30 Central Ave. in Jersey City; ? Paramount Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, located at 330 State Street in Perth Amboy; ? Christopher Montana's residence in Chester; and ? Fernando Barrese's residence in Washington Township.

Both investigations remain ongoing.


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