Former N.J. Chiropractor Sentenced in Health Scare Scheme

January 23, 2006

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy reported that a former North Jersey chiropractor was sentenced for practicing chiropractic medicine after his 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 Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Philip Potacco, 53, of Kinnelon, Morris County, was ordered by Essex County Superior Court Judge Thomas Vena to serve three years probation and to pay more than $48,000 in restitution. Potacco was sentenced following his guilty plea to a charge of theft by deception. The criminal charge stemmed from a Sept.6, 2005 State Grand Jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

At the Dec. 12 guilty plea before Judge Vena, Potacco reportedly admitted that from Dec.1, 1996 through Sept. 30, 2000, to practicing 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 the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor 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).

Potacco also admitted to billing 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 $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.

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