Minnesota Chiropractors Going to Prison for Insurance Fraud Schemes

October 12, 2018

Two Minnesota chiropractors have been sentenced to prison for their roles in separate multi-million-dollar insurance fraud conspiracies, the Minnesota Commerce Department announced.

Adam John Burke, age 34, of Minneapolis, was sentenced to 90 months in prison. Preston Ellard Forthun, age 40, of Bloomington, was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Both defendants were found guilty last year in separate jury trials before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court. Burke was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 12 counts of mail fraud. Forthun was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud and seven counts of wire fraud.

Both Forthun and Burke were licensed Doctors of Chiropractic. As proven at trial, they devised separate schemes to defraud auto insurance companies by hiring patient recruiters, known as “runners,” to solicit auto accident victims to attend treatments at their clinics.

Forthun and Burke paid the runners for each patient they recruited, and the runners in turn typically paid the patients to induce them to attend treatments at the clinic. Both fraud schemes were structured in a way that would maximize their clinics’ billings to insurance companies.

Knowing that the runners were paying patients, Forthun and Burke withheld kickback payments to the runners until after the patients had attended a certain number of treatment sessions. Thus, the kickback payments were intended to ensure that patients came for treatments at the defendants’ clinics because of the payments, as opposed to the necessity and reasonableness of the treatments.

As a result of their fraud schemes, Forthun and Burke billed millions of dollars to the insurance companies.

Their cases were the result of investigations conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Minneapolis Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations provided additional assistance.

Source: Minnesota Commerce Department

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