Friday, March 7, 2008
Allstate suing local Arlington chiropractor for millions for insurance fraud
Alleged multi-million dollar fraud ring the target of a federal lawsuit.
ARLINGTON An Arlington, Texas based chiropractic company and its owner lead a list of 66 defendants in a federal fraud lawsuit filed Thursday in Dallas. The suit alleges deception and coercion were used against people involved in automobile accidents at clinics in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama.
Allstate Insurance Company filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Chiropractic Strategies Group, Inc., its owner Michael Kent Plambeck, related law office management companies, attorneys, telemarketers, and others involved in the alleged fraud scheme. Allstate seeks in excess of $10 million.
The lawsuit was filed following an extensive investigation by Allstate's Special Investigative Unit, and seeks reimbursement for the sums Allstate has paid in regard to allegedly fraudulent claims. The lawsuit allegations include violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), for which Allstate seeks treble damages and recovery of its attorney's fees and court costs.
"Insurance fraud is a billion dollar business that costs the average consumer $300 in higher insurance premiums every year," said Edward Moran, Allstate assistant vice president in charge of the company's Special Investigation Unit. "Allstate is aggressively pursuing the fight against insurance fraud to protect consumers and help keep insurance costs down."
According to the 67 page complaint, the organization solicits persons who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents through telemarketing, which includes calls from a telemarketing entity the organization operates in Kenner, Louisiana. The telemarketers promise the prospective patients a free examination, and at times falsely represent that they are representatives of "Allstate" or an "insurance company."
The Court filing alleges that, once at the clinic, the solicited individuals are often coerced and deceived into treatment through a process the organization calls "conversion." Potential patients are allegedly told they have sustained substantial injuries and require an immediate course of treatment. The complaint further alleges patients are then put through a standardized and unnecessary treatment plan. Once a solicited individual is "converted" into a patient, they are referred to a personal injury law office associated with the organization. The Complaint alleges persons working at these law offices often come directly to the clinics to "sign up" patients as clients.
Source: Allstate Insurance Company