Local Chiropractor Pleads Guilty to Submitting Fraudulent Billing Claims
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2013|
SPRINGFIELD, IL—Christopher Leone, owner of Leone Family Chiropractic, 1019 S. 6th Street, Springfield, Illinois, today waived indictment and pleaded guilty to submitting fraudulent bills for services to private insurance companies and the Medicare program. Leone appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore. Sentencing is scheduled on February 3, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough. Leone has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $48,624 on or before the sentencing hearing.
Leone, 41, is the owner of C.D. Leone Chiropractic P.C., doing business as Leone Family Chiropractic. Leone was directly responsible and in control of the practice’s business aspects, including billing patients and the submission of claims for services to insurance companies, when the fraudulent claims were submitted. The business specializes in chiropractic treatment for the spine and nervous system and also offers other wellness treatments, including physical therapy.
Beginning in about 2005 to February 2011, Leone admitted he billed private insurance companies for a total of approximately $48,624 and the Medicare program for services specifically coded for physical therapy that required the physician or therapist have direct (one-on-one) patient contact. Leone admitted that neither he nor a therapist had direct patient contact, and, in fact, the patients performed all physical therapy treatment on their own without any supervision by Leone or any other employee.
The Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen.
For the offense of submitting false demands for payment against the United States of less than $1,000, the penalty is up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. The defendant may also be required to pay restitution to victims of the offense.