New Jersey’s Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Morris County chiropractor pleaded guilty to reportedly submitting more than $20,000 in phony health care insurance claims for chiropractic services that were never rendered and for paying “runners” to obtain patients so insurance claims could be submitted.
According to Vaughn McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Michael Baer, 50, of Morris County, pleaded guilty to one count of health care claims fraud (2nd degree) and one count of criminal use of runners (3rd degree) before Judge Michael Casale in Superior Court, Essex County. Baer is scheduled to appear before Judge Casale on Jan. 16, 2004 to be sentenced.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Brown noted that Baer, the owner/operator of Essex Spinal Care, located in East Orange, Essex County, was charged via a State Grand Jury indictment on Nov. 27, 2001, with three counts of health care claim fraud, two counts of criminal use of runners and one count of theft by deception.
At the guilty plea hearing, Baer reportedly admitted that between May and November, 2000, he submitted fraudulent health care claims to the Hanover Insurance Company and the Parkway Insurance Company for non-existent patient services.
Baer also reportedly admitted to using, soliciting, and employing “runners” – persons paid by licensed medical service providers to procure patients for a medical practice so that fraudulent or padded insurance claims can be submitted – to procure patients for his chiropractic practices.
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