3 indicted in alleged health care fraud scheme

March 11, 2010 10:48:47 AM PST
Federal officials said Thursday a chiropractor, a medical doctor and a billing employee at a Maywood clinic have been indicted on federal health care fraud charges.The three are accused of submitting false and inflated insurance claims.

The physician signed false documents and the chiropractor forged doctors' signatures on documents supporting the false claims, according to an 18-count indictment.

Authorities say most of the patients of the clinic, the Spine and Joint Rehabilitation Center, were U.S. Postal Service employees who were eligible for benefits from the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Workers' Compensation Program.

The chiropractor, Darwin Minnis, 54, of West Chicago, owned and operated the clinic from at least 1998 through 2009. He was charged with 18 counts of health care fraud. The physician, Dr. Jacob Salomon, 63, who worked at the clinic from around July 2004 to September 2007, and the clinic employee, Gary Strauss, 31, who worked as a biller and claims processor between 2003 and 2007, both of Chicago, were each charged with one count of health care fraud.

Each count of health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.