Federal Jury Finds Minneapolis Man Guilty For His Role In Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Fraud Conspiracy
United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the conviction of YAHYE MOHAMED HERROW, 46, for his role in a multi-million dollar insurance fraud scheme. HERROW was initially indicted on December 20, 2016, and following a three-day trial before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the jury convicted HERROW on counts of conspiracy and mail fraud.
“Minnesota’s no-fault car insurance system is designed to get patients the treatment they need, get their bills paid timely, and avoid the need for court battles over who caused the accident. Schulz, HERROW, and the others involved in this scheme treated the no-fault system like a piggy bank. They treated patients like commodities. They prescribed treatment plans to make money for the chiropractors, the runners, the patients, and personal injury attorneys, with little regard for whether the patient truly needed or benefitted from treatment.” said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kokkinen.
“This very complex case uncovered a large-scale insurance fraud scheme orchestrated by corrupt chiropractors and their accomplices, which resulted in millions of dollars in losses for insurers and their customers,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “The many convictions and guilty pleas in this case are a testament to a strong, effective partnership that involved the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau, federal authorities and local law enforcement to stop fraud in Minnesota.”
“This conviction today in this sprawling multi-million dollar fraud scheme sends a strong message to those who join other criminals in defrauding automobile insurance companies,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Minneapolis Division Jill Sanborn. “The FBI will vigorously investigate crimes like this, because these scams victimize law abiding Minnesotans who often face higher insurance premiums to make up for money wasted on fraudulent payments. The FBI is grateful for the strong law enforcement partnerships, such as the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau, which helped bring about the verdict we see today.”
As proven at trial, from at least 2011 through February 2016, HERROW, along with multiple coconspirators, including Angela April Schulz, a chiropractor, participated in a scheme to defraud automobile insurance companies by paying kickbacks to entice patients who had been in car accidents to attend chiropractic treatments. HERROW’S role was as a “runner,” someone who solicited individuals who had been in car accidents to attend treatments at Schulz’s clinics, Meyer Injury Center and Morrow Accident Rehabilitation Center.
As proven at trial, Schulz paid illegal kickbacks to HERROW and other runners in exchange for referring patients to her clinics. Schulz generally paid between $500 and $2,500 per patient. Much of that payment was given to the patients to entice them to attend treatments that they did not need or would not have sought absent the payment. Schulz did not pay the runners or patients until the patients attended a predetermined number of appointments, thus ensuring that Schulz could recoup the cost of the kickbacks. Schulz, HERROW, and other coconspirators incentivized patients to attend treatment sessions without regard for whether the patients needed or benefitted from the treatments. As part of the scheme, the patients who were paid were often referred to personal injury attorneys in order to seek settlements from the insurance companies for “pain and suffering” and were then regularly coached that they could get even more money in the form of a settlement if they continued to attend treatment sessions.
As proven at trial, Schulz, HERROW, and other coconspirators hid the fact that runners and patients were being paid by lying to the insurance companies about the use of runners, making the payments in cash, and reminding all involved to keep the payments a secret. Ultimately, Schulz’s clinics billed the automobile insurance companies for services provided to hundreds of patients who had been paid to attend treatments. Over a five year period, Schulz paid more than $1 million to runners and patients, while receiving more than $5 million from the automobile insurance companies.
This case was a part of a larger investigation that ultimately resulted in charges against 26 individuals across seven separate metro-area chiropractic practices. Including this latest conviction, 24 of those individuals have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty following a trial.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additional assistance was provided by the Minneapolis Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kokkinen, David M. Maria, and Amber M. Brennan are prosecuting this case.
YAHYE MOHAMED HERROW, 46
- Conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 1 count
- Mail fraud, 4 counts
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600