N.J. Chiropractor to Pay Civil Penalty After Offering Guilty Plea to Fraud Charges

July 12, 2004

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Morris County chiropractor has been sentenced in Ocean County Superior Court after pleading guilty to billing an insurance company more than $27,000 for chiropractic treatments that were never performed.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Nicola Amato, D.C., 41, of Flanders, Morris County, was ordered by Ocean County Superior Court Judge Wendel Daniels to pay a $20,000 civil insurance fraud fine and to serve three years probation. Additionally, Amato paid $27,348 in restitution prior to pleading guilty to a criminal Accusation which charged one count of theft by deception. Amato pleaded guilty before Ocean County Superior Court Judge Peter Giovine on May 11.

Gooden Brown noted that in pleading guilty to the Accusation, Amato reportedly admitted submitting 1,784 fictitious insurance bills representing that he had provided five chiropractic manipulations for 28 separate patients. The Accusation charged that Amato had provided four or fewer manipulations instead of the five that were billed to the insurance company.

As a result, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield paid Amato more than $27,348 for chiropractic services that were not provided.

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