10 charged in business email compromise and money laundering schemes targeting Medicare, Medicaid, and other victims
ATLANTA –Two metro-Atlanta chiropractors, Allan Spagnardi and Stacy Spagnardi, have been sentenced to federal prison for using their chiropractic clinic to commit healthcare fraud and for defrauding the Internal Revenue Service.
“These chiropractors used their patients’ personal information to obtain over a million dollars from a private insurance company,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. (“BJay”) Pak. “Then they went further by engaging in a lengthy scheme to hide their income from the IRS. Healthcare professionals who defraud insurance companies do not just abuse the trust afforded to them by their patients, they also drive up healthcare prices for honest citizens throughout the country.”
“The community has a right to expect that when seeking healthcare services, their healthcare provider will not abuse their private information for personal gain," said Thomas J. Holloman, III, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigations. “Professionals, including chiropractors, who abuse the public’s trust, will be held accountable and face severe consequences including imprisonment and substantial fines. The American public deserves our vigilance in the investigation and prosecution of allegations of fraud by unscrupulous healthcare professionals who hide income and evade the payment of their fair share of taxes.”
“The Spagnardis chose to take advantage of patients and the entire health care industry by billing for services that were never provided and defrauding the IRS,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This sentence will serve as a reminder to others that the FBI will not tolerate healthcare providers who engage in schemes to steal from taxpayers and defraud the industry.”
“Here in Georgia, we are committed to protecting consumers and taxpayers from bad actors like the Spagnardis, whose actions erode trust in our healthcare system and lead to higher premiums across the state,” said Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “I’m thankful for the work of U.S. Attorney Pak and his team to bring these individuals to justice and send a clear message that these types of activities will not be tolerated in Georgia.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Dr. Allan Spagnardi and Dr. Stacy Spagnardi operated a chiropractic clinic located in Marietta, Georgia. Over a multi-year period, the Spagnardis used their patients’ personal information to bill a private insurance company for services that were never actually rendered. At times, the Spagnardis submitted claims for reimbursement for services occurring when they were not even in the country. For instance, the Spagnardis claimed that their clinic had 296 patient visits during a week that they were actually on a cruise vacation out of the country.
Despite earning well over $1 million in personal income in 2014 and 2015, the Spagnardis failed to file federal income tax returns or pay federal income taxes for those tax years and instead took steps to hide their true income from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). After the Spagnardis were indicted, they continued to take steps to hide their income from the IRS, including by filing a false federal income tax return in early 2018.
Allan Spagnardi, 41, and Stacy Spagnardi, 52, both of Atlanta, Georgia, were each sentenced to four years, three months of incarceration, and three years of supervised release. Both defendants were also ordered to pay full restitution to the victim of the offense.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Georgia Office of Commissioner of Insurance investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp and Leanne M. Marek prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.