Former N.J. Chiropractor Charged in Billing Scam

September 9, 2005

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, in conjunction with the Division of Consumer Affairs, has charged a former North Jersey chiropractor with continuing to practice chiropractic medicine after his chiropractic license was suspended and then submitting nearly $100,000 in billings to insurance companies for medical services and treatments provided to patients while his license was suspended.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Philip Potacco, 53, of Kinnelon, Morris County, was charged via a two-count State Grand Jury indictment with Health Care Claims Fraud and attempted theft by deception (both 2nd degree).

If convicted on both charges, Potacco faces up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $300,000. Potacco also faces possible civil insurance fraud fines. Potacco will be ordered to appear in Essex County Superior Court for arraignment and bail on a date to be determined by the Court.

The State Grand Jury indictment alleges that from Dec.1, 1996 through Sept. 30, 2000, Potacco practiced chiropractic medicine even though his license had been suspended by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners on three separate occasions since 1985.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor reportedly determined that, despite not having a valid license to practice chiropractic medicine, Potacco continued to treat patients and provide chiropractic procedures while employed at chiropractic facilities located in Little Falls (Passaic County) and South Orange (Essex County).

The indictment charges that after performing the unlicensed chiropractic procedures, Potacco billed First Trenton Insurance Company, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, and State Farm Insurance Company, $98,175 in connection with the treatment of patients purportedly injured in automobile accidents. The insurance companies paid Potacco $48,022 of the total amount billed. On May 15, 2002, the Chiropractic Board accepted the voluntary surrender of Potacco’s license for practicing chiropractic medicine while suspended.

The indictment was returned to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg on Sept. 6.

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