|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a northern New Jersey chiropractor was sentenced to state prison for causing false documentation to be submitted to insurance companies and subsequently receiving more than $89,000 to which he was not entitled.
Joseph Salomone, 45, of Nutley, was sentenced today to four years in state prison by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Galis-Menendez. The sentence was based on Salomone’s guilty plea to second-degree health care claims fraud. Salomone’s chiropractic license will also be suspended for a period of three years with an additional two years of probation. Salomone has paid back the $89,283 as well as $75,000 in civil fines levied by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
In pleading guilty on Nov. 4, Salomone admitted that he directed his office workers to complete periodic re-evaluation forms which purported to list the results of range of motion tests on automobile 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.
An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined 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 do not accurately reflect whether these patients actually needed to continue chiropractic care with Salomone, or perhaps, needed a change in their treatment plan. As a result of the fraud, Salomone received $89,283 in payments from insurance companies to which he was not entitled.
“Patients need to have trust that their chiropractors will work in their best interest and not in the interest of perpetuating fraud,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “Salomone violated that trust and has been sentenced accordingly.”
"Today's sentence reiterates the message that committing insurance fraud in New Jersey will lead to prison," Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.
An investigation determined 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.
Deputy Attorney General Reid Caster 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.