A federal jury has found an Edina, Minnesota, chiropractor and his recruiters guilty of insurance fraud conspiracy, the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced in late December 2017.
According to Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker, licensed Doctor of Chiropractic Adam John Burke, 33; Abdirahin Khalif Ibrahim, 26; and Dana Enoch Kidd, 36, were convicted for their roles in a multi-million-dollar insurance fraud conspiracy. Burke, Ibrahim and Kidd were initially indicted on Dec. 20, 2016. Following a two-week trial before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., all three were convicted on charges of conspiracy and mail fraud.
In an announcement, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Maria said that Burke “used his professional position and private medical practice to perpetrate an egregious fraud scheme that cost automobile insurers and, ultimately, policyholders in Minnesota, millions of dollars. We are thankful for the hard work and dedication put into this case by our partners at the Commerce Fraud Bureau and the FBI.”
Trial documents show that beginning in at least 2012, Burke participated in a scheme to defraud automobile insurance companies by hiring patient recruiters, known as “runners,” to solicit automobile accident victims for treatments at Burke’s clinic, Burke Chiropractic Center P.A. (Burke Chiropractic). Burke typically paid the runners, including Ibrahim and Kidd, between $1,000 and $2,000 for each patient they brought to Burke Chiropractic so that Burke could bill services to the insurance companies.
To disguise the payments, Burke would write checks to the runners with false descriptions in the memo lines such as “marketing,” “consulting fee,” or “pt transportation.” Burke also required runners to form corporate entities, such as limited liability companies, with names that sounded like legitimate businesses that performed marketing or transportation services, again, to hide the true nature of the payments.
He wrote more than 280 checks to the runners, totaling more than $590,000.
The scheme was structured in a way that would maximize Burke Chiropractic’s billings to the insurance companies, according to prosecutors. Burke typically withheld kickback payments to the runners until after the patients had attended a certain number of treatment sessions. Frequently, the runners paid a portion of the kickback payments they had received from Burke to the patients they referred in order to make sure that the patients attended the minimum number of treatment sessions. As a result, patients often came for treatments at Burke Chiropractic because of the payments, not because they necessarily needed the treatments.
As an additional incentive to continue coming to the clinic, Burke often referred patients to personal injury attorneys, and instructed the runners to advise patients that following through on all treatment sessions would result in a bigger settlement from the insurance company.
As a result of this fraud scheme, Burke and Burke Chiropractic billed millions of dollars to automobile insurance companies.
This case was investigated by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additional assistance was provided by the Minneapolis Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Maria and John E. Kokkinen.
Source: the Minnesota Department of Commerce