Minnesota Insurance Fraud Probe Expands with Chiropractor Indictment

April 5, 2017

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that an additional Twin Cities area chiropractor has been indicted on federal criminal charges in connection with an ongoing investigation of large-scale health care fraud related to “no-fault” auto insurance.

Timothy Wayne Guthman, age 43, of Inver Grove Heights, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is the owner of Inver Family Chiropractic in Inver Grove Heights and Team Chiropractic in Minneapolis.

“This latest indictment and arrest highlights our ongoing federal-state crackdown to stop insurance fraud in Minnesota,” said Rothman, whose agency enforces insurance laws in the state. “The Commerce Fraud Bureau has a strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI as we work together to protect the public and shut down these serious criminal fraud schemes.”

In December 2016, federal criminal charges were filed against 21 individuals, including six chiropractors, for conspiring to commit health care fraud by billing insurance companies for more than $20 million in chiropractic services that were either not medically necessary or not provided at all.

Under Minnesota’s No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, auto insurance policies must include a personal injury protection provision (PIP). The PIP provision carries a minimum coverage amount of $40,000 for expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, $20,000 of which may be used for medical expenses.

From at least 2012 through 2015, according to the new indictment, Guthman engaged in a scheme with others to defraud auto insurance companies by submitting fraudulent no-fault insurance claims.

According to the indictment, in order to get patients to come to chiropractic appointments for treatments they often did not need, Guthman would make illegal kickback payments to patient recruiters, known as “runners.” The kickback payments typically ranged between $500 and $1,500 for each patient the runner brought to Guthman’s clinics.

According to the indictment, the services prescribed and purportedly provided by Guthman were designed to fraudulently maximize reimbursement from the patients’ auto insurance companies.

According to the indictment, Guthman would conceal the kickback payments in various ways. For example, he would pay in cash or write checks that falsely characterized the payments as being for advertising.

Guthman’s indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the FBI.

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