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Co-owner of Algonquin chiropractic clinic sentenced for health care fraud

ALGONQUIN – The co-owner of an Algonquin chiropractic clinic will serve 20 months in federal prison after billing an insurance carrier for unnecessary or nonexistent services, according to a news release.

Steven Paul, 46, of Northbrook was sentenced Tuesday in Chicago federal court, receiving “the lowest possible term of imprisonment” the judge would consider, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois.

Paul previously had pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. Paul and another man, Bradley Mattson of Lake Forest, co-owned six chiropractic clinics in Chicago’s northern suburbs, including Algonquin Physical Medicine, the release stated.

Paul and Mattson admitted in plea agreements that they required patients to receive an initial X-ray and a preset schedule of clinic visits for six-month periods, regardless of whether the visits were necessary, according to the release.

Paul admitted that from 1999 to 2008, he billed Blue Cross Blue Shield $3.65 million for unnecessary tests or physical therapy services that were never provided, according to the release. As a result, Paul’s clinics collected $1.33 million in fraudulent reimbursements from the insurance company.

Mattson pleaded guilty to health care fraud and was sentenced in 2012 to six-and-a-half years in prison, the release stated.

During the investigation, an undercover FBI agent visited the Hawthorn clinic and complained of back pain.

Mattson diagnosed the officer with a pinched nerve, despite the opinions of the clinic’s medical doctor and a physical therapist, who believed the officer only had pulled a muscle. The chiropractor ordered daily visits for two weeks.

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