Jennifer Lynne, 41, of Milford, who is a chiropractor convicted of charges stemming from an investigation into health care and insurance fraud was sentenced to three years of probation, the first six months of which she must serve in home confinement with electronic monitoring, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.
This matter stems from “Operation Running Man,” a 14-month undercover fraud investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the press release states.
The investigation, which included the use of recordings by an undercover FBI special agent, revealed that Joseph P. Haddad, a Bridgeport-based personal injury attorney, conspired with chiropractors and others to defraud several insurance companies by exaggerating the auto accident injuries of Haddad’s clients, and the cost of their medical care, to justify larger monetary settlements with the insurance companies.
As part of the scheme, the co-conspirators fabricated medical records, prescribed unnecessary pain medication, performed unnecessary chiropractic treatment, ordered and billed for diagnostic tests of questionable medical value, and overstated injuries or permanent partial disabilities that were allegedly caused by the accidents.
Between December 2006 and February 2010, Haddad conspired in the scheme with Francisco R. Carbone, who had been licensed to practice medicine until his license was revoked by the State of Connecticut in March 2005, and with Dr. Marc Kirshner, who owned and operated two chiropractor offices in Bridgeport and one in Stamford, according to a press release.
As part of the scheme, Haddad paid “runners” to locate and deliver to him clients for his personal injury practice. Haddad then regularly instructed clients to see Carbone for purported medical treatment, even though Haddad was aware that Carbone had lost his medical license. Carbone provided Haddad’s clients with prescription pain medication, even if the medication was not needed and, in reports, fabricated the clients’ injuries, medical conditions and permanent partial disability ratings.
In multiple instances, Carbone did no medical examination at all. Carbone billed the victim insurance carriers in his name or in the name of another physician for services he allegedly rendered, and provided prescriptions, bills, medical reports and final reports to Haddad, who submitted the documents to the victim carriers to support requests for settlement.
Haddad also referred clients to Dr. Kirshner’s Bridgeport chiropractor offices, which operated under the name Health First Medical, P.C. Kirshner often permitted Haddad to influence the course of patients’ medical treatments by acquiescing to Haddad’s instructions that a patient receive more treatment and diagnostic tests despite the questionable need for both.
Lynne and Jennifer Netter are licensed chiropractors who worked for Kirshner. Between approximately December 2006 and February 2010, Health First chiropractors performed unnecessary chiropractic treatments on Haddad’s auto-accident clients.
As part of the scheme, the chiropractors established a protocol to treat patients in Haddad’s cases for six months, regardless of medical need, and would not resolve treatment of patients unless instructed to do so by Haddad.
The chiropractors often falsified medical records by indicating that they had examined the patients when they had not, and by misrepresenting that patients’ pain complaints and other symptoms continued.
After the six-month period, each patient would receive a permanent partial disability rating, regardless of the permanence of the medical condition.
If a patient had received a permanency rating for a prior accident, the protocol was to give a higher or different disability rating for the present accident. The chiropractic practice prepared false reports, which were then provided to the victim insurance carriers.
More than 10 insurance carriers lost at least $1.7 million as a result of this fraud scheme. The loss directly attributable to Lynne’s dealing with Haddad clients is $117,251. Judge Underhill today ordered Lynne to pay restitution in that amount.
On March 15, 2012, Lynne pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements relating to health care matters.
Haddad, Carbone, Kirshner, Netter, and Dr. James Marshall, Jr. have each pleaded guilty to charges stemming from this scheme. They await sentencing.