Yellow Pages


Habitual Non-filer Gets Jail Time

WASHINGTON: A U.S. district court in Tacoma recently sentenced a chiropractor in Puyallup to three months in prison and seven months in a halfway house for failing to file federal income tax returns, reported the U.S. attorney’s office.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle also ordered Kevin Lynn Terry, 45, to file all delinquent tax returns and to pay all remaining taxes due.

Terry allegedly used trusts to conceal his chiropractic income and personal assets, including his home, during the years 1996 and 1997. The IRS audited those two years and found the trusts to be shams. Terry later agreed to the IRS’ tax assessments for those years.

Beginning in 1998, he changed tactics and began to willfully evade the IRS’ ability to assess and collect tax for the years 1999 through 2001. This included not filing individual Form 1040 returns.

He also formed a corporation in 1998, named Puyallup Chiropractic Clinic Inc., with himself as president, for which he did not file Corporate 1120 tax returns.

During the subject years of 1999 through 2001, Terry evaded tax of about $70,000.

Before criminal charges were brought, he filed tax returns for the subject years and paid the taxes due.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle said, “The term tax protestor is merely a polite way of saying tax cheater.” The judge stated further, “It’s not enough to just pay when you are caught. If being caught results only in having to pay the tax, our system would collapse.”

Kenneth J. Hines, the IRS special agent in charge of the Pacific Northwest, said, “During the last three years, over 800 non-filers have learned a hard lesson: that cheating the American public can lead to their prosecution.”



Former Chiropractor Sentenced for Insurance Fraud

PENNSYLVANIA: A former Mercer County chiropractor will spend three years in prison for defrauding an insurance company.

Thirty-eight-year-old Brent J. Detelich, of Clearwater, FL, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh in mid-April. A jury convicted him of health care and mail fraud in March 2007.

Prosecutors say Detelich submitted fraudulent claims to Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield for services not rendered. He then split the payments from those claims with some patients.

Detelich did business as Detelich Chiropractic, and Advanced Medical and Holistic of Hermitage, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

He must also pay $91,025 in restitution to Highmark. And he’ll be on supervised release for two years after his release from prison.

Associated Press


Chiropractic PIP Benefits Denied Based on Exam by Orthopedic Surgeon

MASSACHUSETTS: An insurance company could terminate a plaintiff’s personal injury protection benefits for chiropractic treatment based on an independent medical examination by an orthopedic surgeon, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled.

The plaintiff—who had been injured in a car crash caused by a policyholder of the defendant insurance company—argued that, under the “same profession requirement” in G.L.c. 90, Sect. 34M, the insurer’s determination to cease paying PIP benefits had to be made by a doctor licensed under the same specialty as the treating or billing physician.

But the SJC disagreed, reversing a Superior Court judgment for the plaintiff.

“Relying on the language of 34M…[the insurer] contends that the same profession requirement only applies ‘when a refusal to pay a bill for medical service’ is based solely on a medical review of the bill or of the medical services underlying the bill,” wrote Justice Roderick L. Ireland for the court. “We agree.”

Because the insurer’s refusal to pay “was based on an IME rather than a medical review of the bill or the medical services underlying the bill, we conclude that the plain language of the statute makes the same profession requirement inapplicable,” he continued.

The 11-page decision is Boone v. Commerce Insurance Co., Lawyers Weekly No. 10-079-08.


MN Pets Could Get New Line of Care: Chiropractors

MINNESOTA: An attention-getting proposal to open the door to chiropractic care for animals in Minnesota appears headed for approval.

The Minnesota House has backed a compromise plan that has also gained the support of the state Senate. It would allow chiropractors to work on animals if they receive training and have received a referral from a veterinarian.

The language is in a broader policy bill that will next go before a House-Senate conference committee. Chiropractors and veterinarians were at odds over an initial bill.

Veterinarians had expressed concern that chiropractors were not fully trained to spot all types of injuries on an animal. One provision requires chiropractors to post a sign notifying customers that they treat animals.

Minnesota Public Radio News,

Yellow Pages


Allstate Accuses Chiropractic Group of Multistate Scam

TEXAS: Allstate Insurance Company filed a federal lawsuit in early March alleging deception and coercion on the part of a Texas-based chiropractic company.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accused 66 defendants of taking part in an insurance fraud scheme by convincing car crash survivors that they had severe injuries requiring immediate treatment, which Allstate had to cover.

The lead defendant is Arlington-based Chiropractic Strategies Group Inc. and its owner, Michael Kent Plambeck. Other defendants include related law office management companies, attorneys and telemarketers.

Allstate seeks $10 million in the lawsuit, alleging violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

According to the 67-page complaint, a telemarketing company would solicit people who had been in car crashes, offering them a free chiropractic exam. Once at the clinics—located in Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama—patients were told they needed immediate treatment.

Patients were also referred to personal injury lawyers, some of whom would show up at the clinic to sign up the patients as clients, according to the lawsuit.

The Dallas Morning News



 California Doctor Arraigned for Fraud

CALIFORNIA: California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced in early March that an alleged fraud perpetrator has been arraigned for committing insurance fraud. Dr. Jon Fields, 53, of West Hills, CA, filed a long term disability claim with his insurance carrier, UnumProvident Corp., for an alleged injury he suffered in 2001. According to insurance company records, Fields claimed that his injury prohibited him from continuing his work as a chiropractor from September 2001 until May 2005. During this time period, UnumProvident paid Fields more than $298,000 in benefits, the Department of Insurance said. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation revealed that Fields allegedly continued treating patients while collecting benefits.

On Dec. 12, 2007, Fields surrendered himself to CDI investigators, and subsequently was booked on multiple counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. Fields was arraigned on Jan. 7, 2008, and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 10, 2008. If convicted, Fields could be sentenced up to five years in state prison, a fine of up to $50,000, and court-ordered restitution to UnumProvident.

The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Insurance Journal



 Pup Is Patients’ Best Friend

OHIO: Going to work everyday can be rough. For Lady Roxanne Rompsalot, it can be “ruff”—but she loves it. The 3 1/2-year-old English Springer Spaniel goes to work with her owner, Dr. Keith Seibert. She greets patients at the door, and often observes while they receive their adjustments and other treatments.

Roxy enjoys relaxing on an exam table, especially if the patient is sitting in one of the chairs. Seibert said patients will often joke that Roxy wants her adjustment first, and he obliges.

The spaniel loves the patients. “There’s nothing that she doesn’t like. She didn’t understand children for a long time,” he said. Roxy is not allowed to bark in the office, but she barked the first time she saw a little girl. Seibert worked to get Roxy accustomed to humans who are smaller than what she was used to seeing. “Now she just loves kids.”

Roxy also loves a yellow stuffed animal with red spots, which was a birthday present from a 3-year-old patient. Seibert said she often brings that toy to children who want to play with her.

“One of her favorite toys is this rope,” Seibert said as he held up a long white rope that had knots tied in it. That rope once helped him notice improvement in a patient who had a problem with his shoulder, when he saw the patient and Roxy playing tug-of-war with the toy.

The chiropractor said only four of his patients do not want Roxy around during their treatments. During those appointments, Roxy stays in a kennel in a side room.

Port Clinton News Herald



 Chiropractor Found Guilty of Sex Abuse

UTAH: American Fork chiropractor Grant Joel Hildreth was convicted by a jury of two counts of forcible sex abuse on March 25th for allegedly inappropriately touching a former patient and employee. Four other felony counts representing three other patients were dismissed by the eight-member jury.

The jury agreed that Hildreth had crossed a criminal line during two separate procedures on a patient and former employee in late May 2007.

The former secretary testified that several times after work she allowed Hildreth to apply medication on her, but on two occasions the application began to become sexual, she testified during the trial.

Hildreth will be sentenced May 2.

Deseret Morning News


Yellow Pages



Chiropractor’s License Revoked after Being Accused of Sexual Assault

MICHIGAN: A chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting his patients has had his license immediately suspended. Dr. Fernando Ponce has been arraigned and charged on criminal sexual conduct charges on allegations of assaulting three of his patients. The Michigan Department of Community Health ordered the suspension on Feb. 12, and says an administrative hearing regarding Ponce’s license will be scheduled at a later time.


Chiropractor Convicted for Failure to File Tax Returns

NEW YORK: A federal jury, in late February, returned a verdict of guilty against John Weisberg on three counts of willfully failing to file individual tax returns.

Weisberg, a chiropractor owning his own business in East Aurora, New York, was charged with four counts of willfully failing to file tax returns for the tax years 2000 through 2003. The jury was unable to reach a verdict concerning his failure to file for the 2002 tax year. Each count of conviction is punishable by a maximum term of one year imprisonment, one year of supervised release, a $25,000 fine, and the costs of prosecution.

Evidence introduced during trial showed that Weisberg, in 1997, became a member-client of a Florida-based organization known as American Rights Litigators. ARL supposedly promoted multiple tax fraud schemes. Weisberg purchased an ARL service by which ARL-affiliated lawyers and accountants, on Weisberg’s behalf, responded to IRS notices seeking his returns. The letters to the IRS allegedly advanced false and frivolous claims and requests purporting to set forth legal reasons why the defendant was not required to file.

At trial, Weisberg claimed that he had relied upon the legal and accounting advice of ARL in not filing returns, as well as the IRS’s failure to respond to ARL’s claims and requests over the course of seven years. However, the evidence at trial showed, among other things, that Weisberg knew he had a duty to file tax returns, and that he used ARL as a means to obstruct and impede the IRS, and that he was advised of his legal duty to file returns not only by the IRS, but also by Buffalo-area accountants and attorneys.


Chiropractor convicted, but no fraud verdict

KENTUCKY: Dr. Paul Hollern, who once ran a chiropractor-training empire from Louisville, was convicted on February 8 of illegal eavesdropping for videotaping patients without their knowledge.

But the jury could not reach a verdict on a charge of health-care fraud, the main offense alleged against Hollern. Prosecutors maintained he taught young chiropractors to sell patients on unnecessary services by lying about X-rays.

Jurors in U.S. District Court also deadlocked on whether Hollern retaliated against a whistle-blowing witness by telling his neighbors he was involved in child pornography.

They acquitted him on a fourth charge, violating a patient-privacy law.

The charges stemmed from the operation of Uncle Paul Chiropractic Business Training, a business Hollern operated in southern Louisville that was attended by young chiropractors from around the country.

Doctors videotaped their meetings with patients and reviewed the tapes later to critique their performance—or, as the prosecution termed it, their sales techniques.

Hollern, who no longer practices, faces up to five years in prison on the electronic eavesdropping charge.

He said the jury’s failure to convict him of the fraud charge “shows that there’s nothing there.” He has said the charges stem from a vendetta by a disgruntled former employee who lied to investigators about his training program.

Hollern remained free on bond after the verdict. Judge Charles R. Simpson III said he would not sentence him until prosecutors decide whether to retry the two counts that deadlocked the jury.

Following a three-week trial, the jury deliberated for three days before telling Simpson they could not decide the two counts.

Standard Process Pays $500,000 to Name Logan College Student Center

MISSOURI: Logan College of Chiropractic announced in early February its new student center will be named the Standard Process Student Center after Wisconsin-based Standard Process Inc., which donated $500,000 to Logan for the naming rights.

The $3.5 million student center is being built within the space previously occupied by the school’s gymnasium.

“I’ve been impressed with the major improvements on the Logan campus over the past several years,” Charles DuBois, president of Standard Process, said in a statement. “I’m excited about this opportunity to attach the Standard Process name to Logan’s new student center, which will be a fun, lively and energetic place for students to gather. I also see this gift as a way for Standard Process to thank today’s students as they study chiropractic and whole food nutrition.”

Construction on the 6,500-square-foot building at the school’s campus in Chesterfield is scheduled for completion in May 2008.

St. Louis Business Journal

Yellow Pages



Sherman College Receives Warning
from Accrediting Body

SOUTH CAROLINA: Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic is in jeopardy of losing accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

College officials were told in December at a SACS conference that the school had been denied reaffirmation of accreditation and was placed on warning for six months, but they are still waiting for official notification of how to correct the problem. Sherman is currently the only public higher education institution in the Palmetto State with a “warning” status.

A “warning” is a public sanction imposed by SACS’ Commission on Colleges for failure to comply on time with a particular component of accreditation.

In Sherman’s case, the college has yet to comply with the Quality Enhancement Plan, according to Belle Wheelan, president of the Commission on Colleges.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, must be created to show how student learning will be increased or enhanced, Wheelan said.

In June, the commission will conduct an on-site evaluation to reconsider the accreditation status of the school. It will determine one of four options: reaffirm accreditation and remove the warning status, continue a warning, be placed on probation, or remove the institution from membership with the Commission on Colleges.


Law to Practice Chiropractic Enacted in Italy

ITALY: The Associazione Italiana Chiropratici (AIC) has announced that, 17 years after the presentation of the first law proposal for professional recognition, on December 21, 2007, chiropractic was recognized by the Italian Parliament as a primary health care profession. For more than three decades, the AIC has led a determined struggle to secure this vitally important legal recognition for chiropractic, in the face of equally determined medical opposition.

After years of unsuccessful attempts at professional recognition, an amendment concerning chiropractic, inserted into the annual budget law, finally opened the door of Italy’s nationalized healthcare system to Doctors of Chiropractic.

“The entire world of chiropractic salutes the Associazione Italiana Chiropratici on this historic milestone for chiropractic,” said ICA President Dr. John Maltby. “We at the ICA deeply respect and appreciate the efforts of all involved and offer our most sincere congratulations.

“Our colleagues in Italy can now move forward to build chiropractic to even greater levels in Italy with official recognition having been secured. Their efforts have added significantly to making chiropractic a truly global profession,” said Dr. Maltby.

ICA News


Chiropractor Loses License

MICHIGAN: The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has immediately suspended the chiropractic license of Rosemary A. Pushies, D.C., based on her felony conviction in the United States District Court, Western District of Michigan.

On July 12, 2007, Pushies was convicted of one count of health care fraud, a felony. As a result, Pushies was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of six months, followed by two years of supervised release with terms, and ordered, to pay fines, costs and restitution in the amount of $148,284.18.

On Dec. 10, 2007, MDCH issued an order summarily suspending Pushies’ license pursuant to the Public Health Code which provides for the mandatory summary suspension of a health professional upon the conviction of a felony. An administrative hearing will be scheduled to address the status of Pushies’ chiropractic license.


 Patients File Complaints about Flat-fee Contracts

KANSAS: Do a doctor and his patients have a different relationship than a gym and its customers?

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts’ legal staff says yes.

Wichita chiropractor Bradley Eck and his lawyer say no.

The difference of opinion has led to a 10-count petition against Eck, alleging unprofessional conduct that violates the state’s healing arts act.

The petition stems from the experiences of 13 of Eck’s chiropractic patients and the investigations that followed their complaints to the board. It asks the board to agree with the allegations and discipline Eck. Punishment could range from fines to license revocation.

The case likely won’t be resolved until early 2009.

The dispute centers on Eck’s use of flat-fee contracts, his refusal to cancel them and whether they’re appropriate in a doctor-patient relationship. The contracts set an up-front charge for a series of treatments. The charge is the same whether a patient ultimately gets no treatments or many.

Both sides say that, to their knowledge, this is the first time such a case has been considered in Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle

Yellow Pages



New Science Behind Chiropractic Care

NEW ZEALAND: Ground-breaking research1 has, for the first time, identified the actual changes that occur in the body, the nervous system and the brain during chiropractic spinal adjustments.

The study was conducted by award-winning Auckland researcher, Dr. Heidi Haavik-Taylor. It demonstrates that chiropractic care sends signals to the brain that change the way the brain controls muscles.

Dr. Haavik-Taylor has spent the last seven years researching the effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system. However, in her latest research, carried out in conjunction with fellow New Zealander Dr. Bernadette Murphy, she was able to measure how brain waves are altered before and after spinal adjustments.

This is the fi rst time that anyone has used EEG’s to prove that there are defi nite changes to the way the brain processes information after chiropractic care.

1. Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. (2007). World Federation of Chiropractic’s 9th Biennial Congress Award Winning Paper (3rd Prize): Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, in press.

New Zealand Chiropractors Association

Chiropractor Accused of Overdoing Manipulations

SOUTH CAROLINA: An Anderson chiropractor is facing a lawsuit over accusations that he continued manipulations of a man’s spine in spite of allegations that he had already damaged one of the man’s discs, causing pain that would last a lifetime.

Stephen Wells began receiving the treatments in January 2005, the lawsuit states. Mr. Wells’ attorney filed suit Nov. 26, 2007, against Dr. Douglas Hanner of Hanner Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Anderson. Dr. Hanner has not filed a response to the allegations and a trial date has not been set.

Chiropractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud

VIRGINIA: A Newport News chiropractor pleaded guilty in mid-December to health care fraud, acknowledging that he bilked several health management companies out of $106,545.

Brad L. Forbes, 33, agreed to a plea deal in U.S. District Court in which he faces up to 10 years in prison, a fi ne of up to $250,000 and full restitution for the amount that he falsely billed. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March.In a statement that he agreed to, Forbes admitted submitting false bills to health care companies between January 2004 and November 2005, with the companies paying him for the amounts.

The bills were submitted to Aetna Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA Health Care and Mail Handlers Benefi t Plan.

Some bills were for services that Forbes falsely said he performed. Others were false physical therapy treatments billed under the name of another doctor hired to provide sinus treatments.

Aside from the criminal penalties in court, Forbes faces a possible loss of his license by the Virginia Department of Health Professions.

First issued in 2002, his license expires Feb. 29, 2008. But a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Professions said a felony conviction resulted in an automatic suspension.

Newport News

Doctor Gets Three Years and 10 months in Prison for Insurance Fraud

PENNSYLVANIA: In late December, a Luzerne County chiropractor was sentenced to spend three years and 10 months in prison for “bilking” more than $200,000 out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northeastern Pennsylvania by filing false insurance claims.

Dr. Robert A. Bittenbender was found guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion after a jury trial in June. At that trial, several of his former patients testifi ed about fi lling out insurance claims for treatment they did not receive.

The insurance payouts were split among Bittenbender, other staffers at his chiropractic offi ce and the patients, according to testimony.

In addition to prison time, Bittenbender will also have to pay back more than $311,000 to Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

The case was selected by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority as one of the top 13 cases of insurance fraud this year, according to a release the group sent in late December.

Bittenbender’s attorney said his client recognized the seriousness of the offenses but asked that the judge consider a sentence of home confi nement.

“These charges go against a lifetime of doing good,” he said, adding the doctor could provide free chiropractic services for “the underprivileged” as a community service.

The court rejected the suggestions. Instead, the judge opted to hand down a sentence at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines, which called for up to four years and nine months in prison.

“This is a very serious offense,” the judge said. “Good doctors don’t abuse the system.”

Yellow Pages


N.J. High Court to Hear Chiropractors’ Appeal

NEW JERSEY: The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower-court decision out of Ocean County, NJ, that has barred chiropractors statewide from performing procedures they had been doing for decades and are allowed to perform in the 49 other states.

Among cases posted in mid-October on the state Judiciary’s Web site that the state’s highest court has agreed to hear was one brought by patient Carol Bedford against chiropractors Anthony L. Riello and Peter E. Lowenstein and Coastal Chiropractic.

A decision in April by a panel of judges with the Appellate Division of state Superior Court ruled in the case that the state law governing chiropractic care limits chiropractors to performing adjustments of the spinal column. The ruling outlawed adjustments to extremities and other joints, which chiropractors had been doing for decades and are allowed to do in the 49 other states.

The decision is not only impacting the businesses of many of the state’s 2,500 chiropractors, but also is affecting their patients, who have come to rely on extremity adjustments but can no longer have the procedures done in the state, according to the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) .

Following the appellate court decision, the defendant chiropractors appealed, and the association filed a brief in support of the appeal. The Supreme Court, in late September, granted certification to hear the appeal.

Since the appellate decision, the association had collected signatures of more than 30,000 patients supporting the practice of extremity adjustments.

The ANJC has been addressing the lower-court ruling on two fronts: supporting the appeal and also lobbying to change the law to allow for extremity adjustments. A statute that would do that was passed in the Assembly on June 21, the Legislature’s last day in session before the summer break. But the Senate sent it to its Commerce Committee, where it still sits.

Asbury Park Press

Chiropractor Gets Jail Time for Not Filing Tax Returns

FLORIDA: A Vero Beach chiropractor was sentenced to eleven months in prison in late October after being convicted of failing to file income tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Stephen J. Short Jr. was convicted after a three-day trial in July of four counts of willfully failing to file returns. Prosecutors said he didn’t file returns in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 and earned an annual income between $87,000 and $124,000 during that time.

Short faced up to a year in prison on each count. After he completes the prison time, Short will spend one year on supervised release and U.S. District Judge Donald Graham ordered him to pay the Internal Revenue Service $47,000 in restitution.


From the “Different Strokes” Department….

GEORGIA: A Columbus chiropractor who pleaded guilty to not filing his income taxes received probation recently in federal court. Robert D. Ressmeyer, 68, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land to three years probation on two counts of failure to file a federal income tax return. The chiropractor, who could have faced 12 to 18 months in prison, had pleaded guilty in June and remained free on bond.

“Your honor, I have no excuse that I can render for the situation I got myself into,” Ressmeyer told the judge. “I apologize for the grief I got my family into. My fervent prayer is that I be allowed to continue my practice.”

Ressmeyer was accused of not filing a federal tax return for the years 2000 and 2002 on $163,335 and $176,145 in annual incomes, respectively. The government contends that the operator of Ressmeyer Chiropractic Life Center hadn’t filed a return since 1997, and Ressmeyer agreed in his plea agreement that he didn’t pay $152,084 in taxes between 1998 and 2003.

Ressmeyer’s attorney, Richard Childs, said his client’s failure to file taxes started out small and could have been corrected in the beginning. However, the problem grew until it reached the point of a guilty plea and sentencing in federal court.

“He’s a good man who did a bad thing,” Childs said.

Childs estimated that Ressmeyer owes between $250,000-$300,000 in back taxes and interest.

Explaining that federal sentencing guidelines called for 12 to 18 months in prison, Land said that would be inconsistent with the goals of sentencing.

Prison time, Land said, wouldn’t protect the public or impose a healthy respect for the law.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Christian said he would speak with tax authorities before deciding whether to appeal the sentence.

Yellow Pages

Doc Shares “the Good, Bad and Ugly” of His Weight-loss Attempt

OHIO: What began as a quest to lose weight for one has turned into a journey of inspiration for hundreds.

In mid-September, Sandusky chiropractor Steven Prentice embarked on a quest to lose 100 pounds.

Prentice, 37, is also writing two e-mail updates per week to patients, friends and interested strangers about his weight-loss adventure.

“It’s about overcoming things and growing past our problems,” he explained.

“There was always a glaring contradiction between my life and my practice that always bothered me,” Prentice said.

He said he has struggled with his weight for more than a decade. Prentice said issues with weight are often a source of shame and embarrassment for many people.

Choosing to share his journey with so many, Prentice said, is a risk he is willing to take. The first step was to overcome the mental obstacles that have been holding him back. Also an addictionologist, Prentice began applying what he knew about addiction to his problem with food.

“Now I’m accountable to hundreds of people,” Prentice said.

More than 300 people are on Prentice’s e-mail list, and the list just keeps growing.

So far he has lost 33 pounds and is confident he will reach his goal weight of 182 pounds.

While his quest to lose weight is for himself, Prentice said it is also for his patients.

“What could I say to them that would work better than watching me go through this?”

“If people want to follow along, all they have to do is e-mail me.” E-mail Dr. Prentice at [email protected].

Sandusky Register

Hayward chiropractor pleads guilty to tax evasion

CALIFORNIA: A Hayward chiropractor has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and has to pay a $1.16 million fine for taxes he didn’t pay, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reports. Ramon Reynoso, 45, was indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 26, 2006, and charged with four counts of tax evasion.

According to a plea agreement reached in U.S. District Court in mid-September, from 1991 through 2004 Reynoso was self-employed at his chiropractic business in Hayward.

Prosecutors say Reynoso agreed that his taxable income for his services from 2000 through 2003 totaled about $3.2 million and he owed a total of about $1.2 million in taxes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Reynoso admitted that he had last filed his personal federal income taxes for the calendar year 1996 and, despite earning a significant income during 2001, he willfully failed to file his federal income taxes and took a number of affirmative acts to try to evade paying his income taxes.

Prosecutors said those steps included placing assets in nominee accounts to conceal his ownership of assets, using a trust to conceal his receipt of income and opening bank accounts with false Social Security numbers.

Reynoso has agreed to pay about $1.2 million in restitution for the taxes he didn’t pay.

In addition, he faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he’s sentenced.

The prosecution resulted from an investigation by Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.



NJ Chiropractor Pleads Guilty to Attempted Theft in Insurance Fraud Scheme

NEW JERSEY: A New Jersey chiropractor pleaded guilty in late September for his role in an insurance fraud scheme. According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Samuel Sbarra, 49, pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Donald J. Volkert, Jr. in Essex County to a criminal accusation charging him with third-degree attempted theft by deception.

At the guilty plea hearing, Sbarra admitted that between Nov. 2 and Nov. 18, 2005, he submitted a phony claim to the Chubb Insurance Company. Sbarra admitted he falsely submitted a claim to Chubb Insurance reflecting that he had provided 18 dates of chiropractic services for a total of $1,844. Chubb Insurance denied the claim and referred the matter to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

The Special Investigative Unit of the Chubb Insurance Company assisted OIFP in the investigation.

Sbarra is scheduled to appear before Judge Volkert on Nov. 29 to be sentenced. Third-degree crimes carry sentences of up to five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000. Sbarra also may face civil insurance fraud fines.

New Jersey Attorney General



Chiropractor Convicted of Raping Patients

CALIFORNIA: A Los Angeles chiropractor has been convicted of sexually assaulting four of his female patients and a woman looking for a job at his office. An L.A. Superior Court jury deliberated about three days before finding Thomas Dickershaid guilty of eleven felony counts, including rape and sexual battery.

Dickershaid, who had been free on $200,000 bail, was taken into custody while awaiting his October 29th sentencing. A prosecutor says he faces at least 20 years in state prison. Daily Breeze

Pass on the information to warn other D.C.’s about events that are really happening to chiropractors. When you see a ” yellow page” article in your local, regional, or national newspaper about chiropractic or a fellow chiropractor, fax, e-mail or mail it to us at TAC. For further information, fax: 1-305-716-9212 or see page 4 for our mailing address.

Yellow Pages

TAC Publisher Released After

Accepting Government’s Offer

ALABAMA: Dr. Richard E. Busch Jr., the publisher of The American Chiropractor magazine, who was in custody of the U.S. government as reported in this magazine (June 2007), recently struck a deal with the Federal Government by accepting a charge of one count of conspiring to sell unregistered securities in the state of Alabama. Busch was released August 29th and ordered to pay $5.6 million in restitution.


Busch observed, “The experience was a ‘blessing in disguise.’ I lost 50 pounds, my blood pressure is back to normal and the creativity in me for the magazine and other projects that I am involved in has grown.”

This case dated back to 1999. Busch also advised, “Be careful who your partners and associates are in all your business deals!” Judge Karen Bowdre noted before the court the many letters received that bore witness to Dr. Busch’s character and ethics and also to the fact that he has a previously stellar record regarding the U.S. legal system.

Busch was represented by Thomas Spina and Joe Mc Lean, two of Birmingham’s best lawyers, whose legal briefs also attest to Dr. Busch’s intent, integrity, credibility, reliability and his reputation in the community as being a family man, married for 40 years to his college sweetheart, with 6 children and 10 grandchildren.

In an ironic twist, Busch, as Publisher of The American Chiropractor, has been the impetus behind its Yellow Page section since it’s inception, to caution chiropractors as to what NOT to do.

Sometimes it pays to settle…

ILLINOIS: A Bloomington chiropractor says he decided to pay damages in a sexual harassment case so he could move on and prevent any action against his chiropractic license. Michael Peffer was scheduled to go before an arbitrator after a former employee, Tandy Lewis, sued to recover $12,000 the city’s human relations commission ordered to be paid. The employee accused Peffer of making suggestive comments and asking her questions about a man she was dating and had since married.

Lewis says she was then fi red for confronting Peffer about his behavior. Peffer initially vowed to fi ght the ruling but now says he’s paying her and the city to avoid a larger legal bill.

Peffer says Lewis and her attorney threatened to fi le a complaint with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which could have cost him much more in legal fees to keep his chiropractic license. That license is already probationary because it had been suspended in Missouri for billing improprieties.


Chiropractor Sentenced for

Mail Fraud & Securities Fraud

NORTH CAROLINA: Chiropractor Joe C. Minder, who was found guilty in January of defrauding more than 50 people of hundreds of thousands of dollars, has been sentenced to five years in a federal prison. As part of the sentence he was ordered to pay $1.79 million in restitution and was placed on probation for two years, U.S.

Attorney Robert Hamilton said. A co-defendant in the case, William Martin McNulty Sr., was also sentenced to fi ve years in a federal prison.

In total, Hamilton said more than 150 people were defrauded by Minder and McNulty through a loan program, called TFH Inc. As part of the loan program, investors would send a check or cash to McNulty through an online banking service. The money was then accessed by a wealthy European investor, known to investors only as “Donald,” who traded in fi nancial instruments that produced high-yielding returns in a short period.

This “Donald,” who Minder said McNulty described as a humanitarian, was particularly interested in helping religious people. During Minder’s trial in January, it was established that “Donald” did not exist.

Many of the victims in the case were people who knew Minder through church or his practice and that he recruited into the program as early as 2001. Evidence presented during the trial showed that Minder continued referring people to the program even when he knew things were not going well. Minder also kept receiving the 10-percent commission he was due for every amount invested, even when investors were not getting the returns promised. Some of these payments were checks made payable to fi ctitious people that Minder then endorsed and cashed at a check cashing store.

Minder argued during trial that he believed the program to be legitimate and never intended to defraud anyone. He said he was tricked by McNulty, who presented himself as a lawyer. In the end, a federal jury found Minder guilty of 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud. McNulty pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud.


Pass on the information to warn other D.C.’s about events that are really happening to chiropractors. When you see a “ yellow page” article in your local, regional, or national newspaper about chiropractic or a fellow chiropractor, fax, e-mail or mail it to us at TAC. For further information, fax: 1-305-716-9212 or see page 4 for our mailing address.

Yellow Pages



Thailand Announces New School for Chiropractors

THAILAND: A new course certification of chiropractors will be open in Thailand, says President of the Thailand Chiropractic Association, Dr Oat Buranasombati.

According to Bangkok’s independent newspaper, The Nation, Dr Buranasombati confirmed last July 10th that their goal is to start a chiropractic course at Rangsit University next year and they’re expecting to recruit around 30 students.”

According to The Nation, chiropractic treatment has been available in Thailand since 1993, with 21 local and foreign chiropractors—most practicing in Bangkok and Pattaya.

Hong Kong was the first territory in Asia to officially issue licenses to chiropractors. The Hong Kong Chiropractic Association was formed in 1967 and lists 44 members.

The Nation


FBI Operation Settle Back Targets Health Care Fraud

CONNECTICUT: Richard Fogel, a 52-year-old Norwalk chiropractor, was sentenced in late July to eight months in prison and must also pay more than $1.1 million in restitution for health care fraud. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, the prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, the first three months of which Fogel must serve in home confinement with electronic monitoring. Fogel has also been ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. The sentencing comes 14 months after Fogel waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. The court lessened the maximum sentence of 46 to 57 months of imprisonment, crediting Fogel for his cooperation with the government’s investigation.

Fogel has admitted, from Jan. 1, 1998, through Oct. 1, 2003, he created false medical records for patients who were involved in personal injury claims, settlements and lawsuits. The records falsely stated the patients’ health conditions and Fogel submitted the false records in order to be paid either directly by insurance companies, or as part of the patients’ personal injury claims.

Two other chiropractors at Fogel’s practice have pleaded guilty to making false statements in medical records while they were employed at his clinic, and they subsequently were sentenced to terms of probation. A patient at Fogel’s practice served more than four months in prison for using a false Social Security number while being treated as a patient.

Kevin O’Connor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said this matter is part of “Operation Settle Back,” an undercover health care fraud investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“It is our hope that successful prosecutions like Operation Settle Back, and the potential for terms of incarceration like the sentence imposed today, will have a clear deterrent effect to licensed professionals who are weighing the risks associated with committing health care fraud or insurance fraud,” O’Connor said.

Westport New


Chiropractor Sues Insurer for Discounting Bills

CALIFORNIA: A lawsuit that charges Zenith National Insurance Corp. with improperly discounting medical bills that were submitted for payment has been filed in federal court in Los Angeles by an Illinois chiropractor. Woodland Hills-based Zenith said Friday that the complaint, which seeks class action status, was filed by Kathleen Roche, a Belleville, IL.-based chiropractor who conducts business as Back Doctors Chiropractic. The insurer said it has not yet been served with a copy of the complaint.

“The company believes that the complaint is without merit and intends to defend the litigation vigorously,” Zenith said in a statement.


Don’t Mess with the IRS

MICHIGAN: A Cascade Township chiropractor pleaded guilty in mid-July to conspiring to hide $2.4 million that he earned at his chiropractic care business, federal court records show. Paul Tuthill, 62, admitted to U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Scoville that he evaded paying income and Social Security taxes between 2000 and 2005, including claiming a net income of negative $1,512 between June 2000 and August 2004.

The chiropractor’s wife, Cynthia Tuthill, also has pleaded guilty to related charges

The Grand Rapids Press


Dr. Lou Sportelli Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

PORTUGAL: Dr. Louis Sportelli, of Palmerton, PA, attended the World Federation of Chiropractic’s 9th Biennial Congress and the European Chiropractic Union’s 75th Anniversary Convention held in Vilamoura, Portugal, in May, where he received the WFC’s Honour Award for an outstanding lifetime contribution to the international growth of the chiropractic profession. The award is bestowed upon the individual who has exhibited a lifetime achievement for outstanding service to the international community.

Almost 800 chiropractors and 1,000 total registrants attended the convention, which was hosted by the Portugese Chiropractors’ Association.

The WFC is a world organization that started in 1988, of which Sportelli was a founding member. There are 67 countries around the world that are represented by the WFC.

Times News Online

Pass on the information to warn other D.C.’s about events that are really happening to chiropractors. When you see a ” yellow page” article in your local, regional, or national newspaper about chiropractic or a fellow chiropractor, fax, e-mail or mail it to us at TAC. For further information, fax: 1-305-716-9212 or see page 4 for our mailing address.

Yellow Pages



Oops! When does YOUR license expire?

PENNSYLVANIA: A chiropractor from Hanover failed to renew his license and could face thousands of dollars in fines for practicing without a state license since last September.

“There was a mix-up with the renewal. It’s in the process of getting straightened out,” said chiropractor Gerald P. Stefanoski.

Department of State Spokesman, Cathy Ennis, confirmed that Stefanoski’s license had not been renewed. She also said that, if a chiropractor practices after his license has expired, he might also be placed on probation by the board once his license is renewed.

Stefanoski’s lapsed license was discovered by Excalibur Insurance Management Services, a firm that oversees workers compensation claims for city government employees in Wilkes-Barre. Stefanoski was on a city-approved list to provide services to employees with workers compensation claims.

Excalibur claims manager, Thomas Gaugham informed Stefanoski by letter that his name will be removed from the list and that the city will seek reimbursement of any payments it made to the chiropractor after his license expired.

Although Excalibur adjuster Leo Murray said that the city had paid Stefanoski at least $5,000 since the expiration date last September, the chiropractor said that the city worker’s compensation program is a very small part of his practice. “Only two city employees are currently under his care,” he said.

Stefanoski accepted his mistake and expressed, “They’ll have to do what they have to do.”


Chiropractor Faces Fraud Charges

INDIANA: An Indianapolis chiropractor has plead not guilty to charges he tried to bill insurance companies for tests and services that never were performed. Charging documents filed in Marion Superior Court say Robert A. Ekin, 38, and Midtown Chiropractic contacted people who had reported auto crashes, offering free evaluations.

Ekin is accused of illegal activity from 2003 to 2006. He was charged in late June with one count of corrupt business influence, a Class C felony carrying a potential penalty of two to eight years in prison. Prosecutors also charged him with 10 counts each of attempted theft and insurance fraud, both low-level felonies.

A former assistant to the manager and massage practitioner at Midtown, defended Ekin, noting insurance companies often resist paying claims.

“It’s all a lie,” she said. “The insurance companies don’t want to pay the people’s bills.”

Ekin was released after paying $20,000 bond during a hearing on June 27th in Marion Superior Court. A trial date was set for August 27th.


Chiropractor Pleads Guilty of Big Time Health Care Fraud

GEORGIA: In early June, former Savannah chiropractor Eric J. Baty pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit health care fraud. Evidence presented to US District Senior Judge Dudley H Bowen Jr. in Savannah showed that, from July 2000 until June 2005, Baty billed more than $5 million in fraudulent physical therapy claims to Medicare and Georgia Medicaid, a press statement from Acting US Attorney Edmund Booth Jr. stated.

Baty initially pleaded innocent to charges in the 50-count indictment returned in January but, in June, he changed his plea to guilty on count one charging conspiracy. As part of his negotiated plea, Assistant US Attorney Jim Durham and Brian Mc Evoy will not pursue 42 additional charges naming Baty in the case.

Savannah Morning News


Chiropractor Facing 95 Years for Filing Fake Insurance Claims

PENNSYLVANIA: Luzerne County chiropractor Robert A. Bittenbender is facing up to 95 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion. Assistant US Attorney Barbara Kosik-Whitaker said she was pleased with the jury verdict, especially since Bittenbender, of Freeland, refused to accept his responsibility for “bilking” more than $200,000 out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northeastern Pennsylvania by filing phony insurance claims for four years.

Since being indicted in April 2006, Dr. Bittenbender has maintained his innocence and fired several attorneys who advised him to take a plea, according to his attorney.

The Times-Tribune


Owatonna Chiropractor Found Not Guilty of Molesting Charges

MINNESOTA: Lyle Coleman, an Owatonna chiropractor who was accused by several female patients of touching them inappropriately, was declared by juries not guilty of charges related to the accusations. He was also acquitted by a jury from similar charges in May. Both cases involved former patients who accused Coleman of touching them sexually during treatment sessions. The dismissed charges were the last of the 11 charges in all that the state brought against Coleman in 2004 after female patients came to police alleging they had been molested.