On June 28, 2018, chiropractor Brian Carrico of Redondo Beach was charged along with eight others in a $40 million workers' compensation insurance fraud scheme.
After almost four years, Carrico pleaded guilty on February 24 of this year to one count of soliciting kickbacks. His two companies, Performance Medical & Rehab Center Inc. and One Accord Management Inc., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit kickbacks.
On August 29, Carrico was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay $25,000. His two companies were each sentenced to one-year probation and a $250,000 fine.
Carrico and his eight co-defendants were caught up in Operation Spinal Cap, a joint law enforcement operation by the California Department of Insurance, FBI, IRS, and the US Postal Service. The task force ultimately convicted 22 defendants of health insurance and workers comp fraud in a widespread criminal enterprise in Southern California. Federal, state, and private insurers were bilked of more than $950 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Central District of California.
Kickbacks Solicited and Received
Court documents showed that from June 2004 to December 2013, Carrico participated in a kickback scheme that paid him for referring patients to Pacific Hospital, a corrupt spinal and orthopedic surgery center.
Patients were referred to Pacific Hospital from Carrico's Performance Medical & Rehab Center. The kickbacks were processed through his One Accord Management firm.
The owner of Pacific Hospital, Michael D. Drobot, operated the hospital from 1997 to 2014. He paid kickbacks to doctors and other medical professionals like Carrico for thousands of surgical referrals. He generated the kickback money from the sale of medical devices implanted in surgery patients. He owned the company that sold the devices.
Drobot personally made $20 million in income, bonuses, and other compensation from the hospital. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison in 2018, the USAO said.
Investigation and prosecution of organized insurance fraud can take years. Anyone who is under investigation would be well-advised to retain legal counsel. The Sigal Law Group in the greater Los Angeles area is experienced in white-collar criminal defense. Call 818 325-0570 for a free consultation.