RN sentenced to 9 years in allergy scheme

June 29, 2009 11:15:46 AM PDT
A registered nurse, who allegedly directed a fraud scheme, has been sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution. John Froelich, 52, formerly of Harwood Heights, was allegedly the ringleader among nine defendants who pleaded guilty to federal charges for submitting fraudulent bills totaling $11.5 million to more than 200 insurance companies, which paid approximately $2.6 million in false claims.

Froelich drew blood and gave allergy shots without proper credentials or sanitation, authorities say.

There was no reported injury to any of the 4,000 patients who were administered the treatments.

Froelich pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October of 2008 and testified at the trial last fall of Dr. Hartley Thomas, of Valparaiso, Ind., who was the only defendant who went to trial among the 10 individuals, including four physicians, who were charged in a 34-count indictment in February of 2007. Thomas was convicted but died before sentence was imposed.

The allergy business, American Institute of Allergy, operated for about seven years in the Midwest and Southwest.

Several physicians were allegedly involved in the scheme, allowing Froelich and other to bill insurance companies for service under their names without actually supervising the medical procedures.


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