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Two Chiropractors and Five Others
Charged with Insurance Fraud

On April 21, 1999, New Jersey Attorney General Peter Verniero announced that two chiropractors, the operator of a physical therapy business above one of the chiropractic offices, and three alleged "runners" were indicted for alleged roles in separate insurance fraud schemes involving computerized accident records illegally obtained from the Newark and North Bergen Police Departments,

The chiropractors and the operator of the physical therapy business were charged in one indictment, and the three alleged runners were charged in three separate indictments. The chiropractors' indictment, if proven, "is a schematic for an insurance fraud mill," Verniero said, "a doctor-controlled, top-to-bottom scheme using a corrupted police employee to purloin internal police data, a third party to make bribe payments and runners who exploited the stolen data to snare chiropractic patients." Named in the four-count indictment were:

The trio were charged with conspiracy in the second degree, computer theft in the third-degree, official misconduct in the second degree, and bribery in official matters in the second degree. The indictment states that between March 1 and Sept. 24, 1997, Rosania and Matturro conspired with Licea to give money to Licea to bribe an unnamed communications supervisor in the North Bergen Police Department. Licea paid the supervisor on four or more occasions to obtain the accident reports.

To carry out the scheme, Matturro instructed an unnamed unindicted conspirator to get "paperwork" from Rosania to use as leads to solicit patients for the West New York Chiropractic Center, according to the indictment. Rosania gave North Bergen Police Department accident reports to an unindicted conspirator twice in 1997, then gave money to Licea to pay the communications supervisor who supplied the computer records, the indictment states.

"We're targeting health care providers at the top of the fraud chain who pay public officials and police officers for patients with insurance coverage and all the schemers that help them," Assistant Attorney General and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Edward M. Neafsey said. "This is the mandate we received from the legislature to clean up insurance fraud."

Three individual indictments related to 1998 activities were returned in the second alleged scheme:

Each second-degree offense for which a defendant is convicted carries a maximum of 10 years in State prison and a fine of $100,000 to $150,000. Each third-degree offense for which a defendant is convicted carries a maximum of five years in State prison and a $15,000 fine. If convicted, each defendant's actual sentence would be based upon a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime as well as any aggravating and mitigating factors.

Further information can be obtained from Dick Lavinthal (609) 984-7346. Insurance fraud can be rported anonymously by calling (877) 553-7283.

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This article was posted on August 22, 1999.