Major Chicago Fraud Case Mirrors Other North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Fraud Matters

March 17, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, three individuals have been indicted for perpetrating a healthcare fraud in excess of a million dollars – the case has North Carolina workers’ compensation experts buzzing.

Details of the Crime

According to allegations, three individuals – Dr. Jacob Solomon, a chiropractor named Darwin Minnis, and a biller named Gary Strauss — collaborated from 2004 to 2007 to falsely bill over a million dollars worth of claims at a West Chicago doctor’s office. Strauss and Solomon have been slapped with one count of healthcare fraud. Minnis, who owned and ran the Maywood Spine and Joint Rehabilitation Center, faces 18 separate counts of fraud. The three inflated claims for insurance payments and workers’ compensation. They are due to be arraigned in federal court.

Many North Carolina workers’ compensation cases “rhyme” with this Chicago case. Often, one (or a handful) of individuals collaborate over a long period of time to slowly but surely bilk the workers’ comp system. In the short-term, the amount of money stolen is usually not enough to send up red flags. But over the long-term, this money can add up to something substantial. (This blog reported only few months ago about a local woman who netted tens of thousands of dollars before being busted for North Carolina workers’ compensation fraud.)

How do these fraud cases debilitate the system?

• First of all, any time someone drains money from the system, that shortfall must be made up through higher premiums, poorer care, and thinner benefits.
• Second, North Carolina workers’ compensation fraud creates an atmosphere of distrust. If doctors, insurers, employers, and employees cannot count on the system to be fairly run, they may choose to go around it or choose to ignore other pertinent and important rules of protocol.
• Finally, fraud cases – whether perpetrated by employers, insurers, or employees – create pressure on the parties that payout North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits to vet claimants more closely. Unfortunately, this enhanced vetting often snares innocent parties. For instance, someone who may have legitimately hurt his back in a work related lifting accident may come under close scrutiny by his insurance company. Many a legitimate claim has been denied because of this kind of irrationally strict vetting.

If you or a loved one has been battling over benefits, it is a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Good, strategic legal advice can help you compel an insurer to pay out a full claim and can end annoying and potentially illegal harassment. The more knowledgeable you are about your rights under the system, the easier time you will have of collecting benefits owed and recuperating from your injuries.

More Web Resources:

Maywood Spine and Joint Rehabilitation Center

Maywood Clinic Linked to Fraud