Authorities announced Monday that a central New Jersey chiropractor was sentenced to state prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $650,000 by illegally using “runners” to recruit auto accident patients to his chiropractic businesses.
New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced that Scott Greenberg in Somerset County was sentenced to six years in state prison by a Superior Court judge. The judge also ordered Greenberg to pay $655,594 in restitution.
The matter has been referred to the New Jersey Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which may impose additional sanctions. The matter has also been referred to the State Department of Banking and Insurance for imposition of additional civil penalties for violation of the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.
Authorities said the sentence is based on Greenberg’s guilty plea to a criminal accusation. “The prison sentence imposed today should act as a deterrent to those in the medical profession who seek to maximize profits through illegal means,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “Such criminal conduct will not be tolerated in the State of New Jersey.”
Greenberg was the owner/operator of Central Jersey Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Centres, which has locations in central and northern New Jersey. In pleading guilty on Jan. 11, he admitted that between Feb. 21, 2009 and July 27, 2011, he paid money to “runners” to recruit auto accident patients to his chiropractic businesses.
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Greenberg paid the runners a total of approximately $100,000 for the solicitation and referral of approximately 164 patients. Greenberg further admitted that, during that same time period, he illegally obtained a total of $655,594 in reimbursement from various insurance companies as a result of the illegal “running” scheme.
New Jersey’s Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi stated that New Jersey law includes an “anti-running statute,” which imposes criminal penalties for acting as a runner or using, directing, or employing a runner. The statute defines a runner as a person who attempts to procure a patient or client at the direction of and for a health care professional or attorney in exchange for a pecuniary benefit, when the health care professional or attorney intends to assert a claim against an insured person or an insurance carrier for providing services to the patient or client.
Greenberg was one of seven defendants charged in July 2011, in connection with this scheme. Three of the “runners” in the scheme previously pleaded guilty and two were sentenced in 2012.
“Insurance fraud continues to be a major reason why New Jersey’s insurance rates, especially auto insurance rates, are among the highest in the nation,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi. “The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has made it a priority to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who use running schemes to defraud insurance companies, and in turn, insurance consumers, who often bear the cost of such fraud through increased premiums.”