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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chiropractor And School Fined For Shipping Unapproved Devices

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Dr. David Ray Toftness, 65, and the Toftness Post-Graduate School of Chiropractic, Inc., both of Amery, Wis., were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to $5,000 and $50,000 fines respectively, with the school also receiving a one-year term of probation, for shipping unapproved medical devices in interstate commerce.  Dr. Toftness and the school pleaded guilty on May 30, 2013.

The case arose from a January 18, 1982, judgment entered by Judge Robert W. Warren in the Western District of Wisconsin against the Toftness-Post Graduate School and its president, Irwing N. Toftness, the uncle of the defendant, Dr. David Ray Toftness.  The judgment prohibited manufacturing, promoting, selling, leasing, distributing, shipping, delivering or using in any way the Toftness Radiation Detector, or any device substantially the same as, or employing the same basic principles as the Toftness Radiation Detector.

Without FDA approval, the device was being used in chiropractic work, purportedly assisting in the diagnosis of injuries.  Irwing N. Toftness, a chiropractor, invented the device and it was utilized by the school in teaching other chiropractors.  The defendant inherited the Toftness Post-Graduate School from his uncle, and became its president when Irwing N. Toftness died in 1990.

In sentencing the defendants, Judge Crabb remarked that the violation of the Court’s order was, “blatant and frequent.”  Between February 2005 and September 2006, Dr. Toftness and the school shipped in interstate commerce unapproved Toftness Radiation Detectors, Toftness Devices, and Toftness Instruments.  The school violated the District Court’s 1982 Order in doing so, while Dr. David Toftness, who was not a party to the 1982 proceedings, was charged individually in a separate count with essentially the same activity. 

In a related case, on September 9, 2010, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker imposed a $500 fine on Glen Thomas Lindahl, of Churubusco, Ind.  Lindahl manufactured the devices for the defendant and shipped them from Indiana to the defendant’s offices in Wisconsin.  

The charges against Dr. David Ray Toftness and the Toftness Post-Graduate School of Chiropractic are the result of an investigation conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, Chicago Field Office.  The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.

Updated July 14, 2015