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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fort Worth Chiropractor Sentenced In Heath Care Fraud Case

FORT WORTH, Texas — The owner/operator of a chiropractic clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, was sentenced this morning on a federal felony conviction stemming from her submission of false reimbursement claims to Medicare and Medicaid, announced Acting U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Melva Mitchell, 35, of Fort Worth, a licensed chiropractor, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor to 12 months and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay $126,048 in restitution to Medicare and Medicaid for making false statements relating to health care matters. Mitchell operated Best Choice Chiropractic and Wellness Center on Oakland Boulevard in Fort Worth. She must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on February 24, 2015.

According to documents filed in the case, Mitchell submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicare and Medicaid for chiropractic services that were not performed. She obtained the Medicare and Medicaid provider information for other individuals who were licensed Occupational Therapists, and used those persons’ provider information to obtain payments from Medicare and Medicaid for occupational therapy services that were not provided or were not provided by requisitely licensed individuals. Mitchell paid one of the individuals whose provider information she used a portion of the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements she received.

As one example of her false statements, Mitchell submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid indicating that she performed 25 separate chiropractic manipulations in her office from March 8, 2011 to March 10, 2011. These claims were false and fraudulent because she was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, FBI, and Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Brasher prosecuted.

Updated June 22, 2015