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Local chiropractor and employee indicted on federal healthcare fraud charges

July 25, 2012

St. Louis, MO - Dr. Anthony Calandro, his billing assistant Sherry Rueter and the Chiropractic Accident Centre of Crestwood have been indicted for allegedly billing insurance companies for x-rays never taken and for appointments that the patients had canceled or missed.

According to the indictment, during 2010 and 2011, two undercover investigations revealed that Dr. Calandro and Ms. Rueter billed multiple insurance companies for services that were never rendered. From 2006 to 2011, they submitted numerous reimbursement claims that falsely stated that the Chiropractic Centre had taken more x-rays than were actually taken. In most instances, only one or two x-rays were taken during a patient’s visit, but many more x-ray views were billed. The indictment states that since health insurance companies would not reimburse Chiropractic Centre if a claim indicated the patient had missed an appointment and had not received a billable service, they falsely indicated that a billable service had been provided to patients. Using false codes, they submitted thousands of false claims for missed appointments.

ANTHONY WILLIAM CALANDRO, Chesterfield, MO; SHERRY RUETER, St. Louis, MO; and CHIROPRACTIC ACCIDENT CENTRE OF CRESTWOOD P.C., Watson Road, St. Louis, MO, were each indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of health care fraud and four felony counts of making false statements related to health care services.

If convicted, each count of health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; each count of making false statements carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. The corporation faces maximum fines up to $500,000 per count of the indictment. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

Additionally, upon a finding of guilt, the defendants will be subject to forfeiture to the government of all money derived from their illegal activity.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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