Federal jury finds Edina chiropractor and his patient recruiters guilty of insurance fraud conspiracy for submitting false insurance claims and cashing in on medically unnecessary or nonexistent treatment.
On December 28, 2017, Acting United States Attorney General, Gregory G. Booker, announced the conviction of an Edina-based chiropractor and two others for their roles in a multi-million dollar insurance fraud conspiracy. Initially charged in December of 2016, Adam John Burke, and patient recruiters, Abdirahin Khalif Ibrahim and Dana Enoch Kidd were found guilty by a Federal jury of conspiracy and mail fraud.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce issued a news release on the day of the conviction, including a warning from Commerce Commissioner, Jessica Looman: "Today's verdict makes it clear that Minnesota does not tolerate insurance fraud." Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Minneapolis Division, Richard T. Thornton was quoted as saying "[The defendants'] greed had real consequences for the people of Minnesota in terms of higher insurance costs and tax dollars spent investigating their illegal conduct."
Burke, a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic defrauded auto insurance companies by hiring patient recruiters, or "runners," to convince auto accident victims to seek treatment at his clinic, operating as "Burke Chiropractic." Runners, including the convicted Ibrahim and Kidd, were paid $1,000 - $2,000 per patient. Burke then billed the insurance company and covered the payments by writing over $590,000 in checks to the runners for false services like "marketing" or "PT transportation." Burke even had the runners establish businesses, like an LLC, so that the checks would appear legitimate.
Patients were required to attend a certain number of sessions before the runners got their cut, ensuring patients attended because of the payments and not for reasonable or necessary treatment. As an additional incentive to patients to continue to attend treatment sessions, Burke would often refer patients to personal injury attorneys and instructed the runners to tell patients that following through on all sessions would result in a bigger settlement from the insurance company.
Since 2012, Burke's highly structured scheme cost insurance companies, and ultimately Minnesota policyholders, millions of dollars.
Prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Maria and John E. Kokkinen, this case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau and the FBI, with assistance was provided by the Police Departments of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Minnesota State Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations.
Fraud committed against the insurance company is not a victimless crime. The cost is shared by Minnesotans in the higher premium prices, not to mention the burden on tax-payer funded systems, including local and state law enforcement, and federal agencies. Fortunately, insurance fraud can be identified before costing insurers, employers, citizens, and state and federal government millions of dollars and countless hours spent on investigation and prosecution.