Bryan Chiropractor Convicted of Defrauding Automobile Insurance Companies of $3 Million
|Jan. 22, 2013|
HOUSTON - A Bryan chiropractor has entered a plea of guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to defraud various automobile insurance companies of more than $3 million, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Chase Lindsey, 34, is the co-owner of Lindsey Chiropractic Care located in Bryan. Today, he admitted he participated in a two-year conspiracy to defraud numerous auto insurance companies by allowing fraudulent chiropractic bills to be created under his name for treatments which were never performed and used as support for fraudulent settlement demand letters sent to auto insurance companies.
Lindsey entered into an agreement with the office manager of a law firm which represented clients allegedly injured in auto accidents. Lindsey agreed to provide medical evaluations of, and recommend treatment for, those patients in exchange for $2,000 in cash per month, which totaled approximately $58,000 during the course of the conspiracy.
For the clients he actually evaluated, Lindsey routinely recommended medically unnecessary therapeutic treatments. In some instances, Lindsey either never evaluated the patient or did so after the patient had already begun receiving treatments. The treatments, if done, were done by unlicensed, untrained and unqualified individuals whom Lindsey never supervised. Lindsey always prescribed the same six treatments but the patients usually received only two: ice/heat packs and electric stimulation. He prescribed the treatments be done 3-4 times per week for 5-6 weeks, but patients usually went once a week for 3-4 weeks. Lindsey also provided no follow-up treatments.
Lindsey and others used four chiropractic clinics in the scheme. Lindsey started working at the first clinic, Texas Avenue Chiropractic Clinic, in February 2007 and continued until it closed on or about Sept. 1, 2007. After that, Lindsey was listed as the only chiropractor at H & E Chiropractic and Private Chiropractic Care, two businesses also involved in the conspiracy. After Private Chiropractic Care shut down in September 2009, Lindsey and others agreed to continue the fraud scheme by sending the law firm clients to Lindsey Chiropractic Care - Lindsey's chiropractic clinic. Clients were sent there until search warrants were executed in November 2009.
Despite changing the name and location of the chiropractic clinic four times, the fraud scheme remained the same. Co-conspirators recruited individuals allegedly involved in auto accidents to be represented by the law firm who were then sent to Lindsey to be evaluated. Lindsey routinely prescribed medically unnecessary treatment which was provided, if at all, by unlicensed, untrained and unqualified individuals. Lindsey knew that most of the treatments were not being performed. Nonetheless, Lindsey allowed false and fraudulent chiropractic bills to be created under his name from each of the four clinics for treatments which were never performed.
The fraudulent bills were used as support for settlement demand letters sent to auto insurance companies which caused the insurance companies to issue settlement checks. Lindsey acknowledged the scheme to defraud the automobile insurance companies resulted in the submission of more than $3 million in false billing claims. The insurance companies paid at least $1.2 million in false claims during 2007-2009.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, who accepted the guilty plea, set sentencing for April 22, 2013. At that time, Lindsey faces up to 30 years in prison and a possible $1 million fine. As part of his plea agreement, Lindsey also agreed to pay restitution of $1.2 million to the insurance companies victimized by the scheme. Lindsey was permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing.
The remaining defendants charged in relation to the conspiracy are set for trial on April 2, 2013.
The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation by agents of the FBI and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Assistant United States Attorney Al Balboni is prosecuting the case.