3 Face Federal Charges in Chicago Workers’ Comp Fraud Case

March 12, 2010

Federal law enforcement officials in Chicago report that a chiropractor, a medical doctor and a billing employee at a clinic in Maywood, Ill., have been indicted on federal charges related to workers’ compensation insurance fraud.

The defendants are alleged to have submitted false claims amounting to more than $1 million to workers’ compensation and other insurers for non-rendered services or inflated claims.

The 18-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on March 10.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, those charged were Darwin Minnis, a chiropractor in West Chicago; Dr. Jacob Salomon, a physician who worked at Minnis’ chiropractic clinic; and Gary Strauss, who worked in billing and claims processing at Minnis’ clinic.

Most of the patients at the clinic — the Spine and Joint Rehabilitation Center — were U.S. Postal Service employees who were eligible for benefits under the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation.

The indictment alleges that the defendants and others intentionally submitted false or inflated claims and information to the federal workers’ comp office on behalf of the clinic and patients.

Minnis allegedly forged doctors’ signatures or caused others to forge physicians’ signatures on patient reports and medical opinions.

The indictment also involves charges of false information given to patients about the clinic’s qualifications to provide workers’ compensation benefits and the submission of fraudulent documents indicating Salomon or another licensed physician had examined and treated patients.

Strauss is alleged to have forged physicians signatures on claim forms and prepared false itemized billing statements in personal injury cases.

Minnis and Strauss are also alleged to have double-billed the workers’ comp office for disability claims. Minnis is reported to have billed both patients and the workers’ comp office for disability exams he performed.

The maximum penalty for each count of the indictment is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Stern is prosecuting the case.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois

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