|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa today announced that a North Jersey chiropractor has been indicted for allegedly stealing more than $89,000 by submitting false documentation to insurance companies.
Joseph Salomone, 44, of Nutley, was charged on Friday (July 27) with one hundred and twenty-five counts of second-degree health care claims fraud, and one count each of second-degree attempted theft by deception and second-degree theft by deception. Salomone is the registered agent and president of Pain and Injury Center of North Jersey PC, located in Paterson; and Salomone Chiropractic PA, located in Jersey City; and the now-defunct Pain Relief Health Center of New Jersey, which had been located in East Orange.
“Salomone allegedly kept the patients coming for months and months of chiropractic care by falsifying the results of examinations so that they always supported continued treatment — and continued billing,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “My office will aggressively investigate and prosecute chiropractors who fraudulently use their patients to line their own pockets.”
The state grand jury indictment alleges that, between Aug. 16, 2007 and June 4, 2011, Salomone submitted, or caused to be submitted, 125 fraudulent documents to insurance companies in an attempt to fraudulently receive payment or reimbursement. Specifically, it is alleged that Salomone directed his office workers to complete periodic re-evaluation forms for 37 patients, which purported to list the results of range of motion tests on these auto accident victims. The forms were supposed to be assessments by the chiropractor to see whether the patient needed to have continued (or perhaps different) chiropractic care. It is alleged that Salomone directed his staff to complete the re-evaluation forms using pre-determined information unrelated to an actual assessment of the patient. Accordingly, the patients’ medical records allegedly do not accurately reflect whether these patients actually needed to continue chiropractic care with Salomone, or perhaps, needed a change in their treatment plan.
It is further alleged that Salomone directed his office staff to submit the fraudulent documentation to the insurance companies – Allstate Insurance Company, High Point Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance Company and United States Automobile Association – as part of the billing process. It is alleged that, through this fraud, Salomone sought $196,055 in payments or reimbursement to which he was not entitled, of which he received $89,283.
Deputy Attorney General Suzanne McElwreath and Detective Scott Stevens were assigned to the case. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked Allstate Insurance Company, High Point Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance Company and United States Automobile Association for their assistance in the investigation.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.