|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor obtained a state grand jury indictment charging the office manager of a chiropractic center in Hudson County with illegally accepting cash kickbacks for referring chiropractic patients for other services, including legal representation.
Oleg Gorodetsky, 42, of Staten Island, New York, was charged on Friday (April 5) with third-degree conspiracy, and four counts of third-degree criminal running.
Gorodetsky was the office manager at Chiropractic Centre of Jersey City. The indictment alleges that between January 2011 and July 2011, Gorodetsky conspired with Christopher Montana, 40, of Chester, Morris County, a doctor of chiropractic and an owner of Chiropractic Center of Jersey City, to illegally accept cash payments in exchange for referring chiropractic patients for other services, including legal representation. The indictment further alleges that Gorodetsky illegally accepted thousands of dollars in exchange for such referrals.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi noted that New Jersey law includes an anti-running statute, which imposes criminal penalties for acting as a runner or using, directing, or employing a runner. The statute defines a runner as a person who attempts to procure a patient or client at the direction of and for a health care professional or attorney in exchange for a pecuniary benefit, when the health care professional or attorney intends to assert a claim against an insured person or an insurance carrier for providing services to the patient or client.
Gorodetsky and Montana were arrested on July 27, 2011. Another defendant – Fernando Barrese, 40, of Washington Township, Bergen County, a doctor of chiropractic - was also arrested that day.
Montana and Barrese are the owners of Chiropractic Centre of Elizabeth, Chiropractic Centre of Newark and Chiropractic Centre of Jersey City. In addition, Barrese owned Wallington Chiropractic Center, located in Wallington. Montana and Barrese previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and were each sentenced on December 19, 2012 to seven years in state prison. Montana and Barrese were also ordered to pay a total of $200,000 in restitution to a total of 15 insurance carriers. In addition, Barrese was ordered to pay $240,451 in back taxes, penalties and interest to the New Jersey Division of Taxation; Montana was ordered to pay $71,032 in back taxes, penalties and interest to the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
Deputy Attorneys General Cheryl Maccaroni and Michael Lestino, Sgt. Ron Williams and Detectives Earl Washington, Darrell Washington, Kelly Howard, Janessa Jones, Kristi Procaccino, Weldon Powell and Megan Flanagan coordinated the investigation along with Analyst Bethany Schussler.
The indictment against Gorodetsky is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.