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Two Jefferson County chiropractors, 8 others accused in $12M disability fraud scheme

Two Jefferson County chiropractors, 8 others accused in $12M disability fraud scheme

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JEFFERSON COUNTY — Two Jefferson County chiropractors and eight others deceived Anheuser-Busch InBev, insurance companies and federal officials with false claims of disabilities, costing those entities more than $12 million, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The chiropractors and others exaggerated patients’ medical conditions and lied about their ability to care for themselves so they would qualify for disability benefits, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The chiropractors, Thomas G. Hobbs and his wife, Vivian Carbone-Hobbs, made the patients undergo unnecessary medical treatments and tests to bolster their medical records, they said.

As early as 2011, employees of Anheuser-Busch InBev sought help from the chiropractors in obtaining Social Security disability benefits, benefits from a private company and an insurance payout of $100,000, they said. In return, the chiropractors received payments from patients, prosecutors said.

Hobbs and Carbone-Hobbs were indicted by a federal grand jury along with with two employees, a former AB InBev union representative and five patients. All face various felony charges including conspiracy to defraud, health care fraud and theft of government funds. Hobbs was also indicted on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm after investigators found a shotgun during a Feb. 27, 2019, search of the chiropractors’ office, Power-Med Inc., at 16 Municipal Drive in Arnold, court documents show.

Carbone-Hobbs declined to comment on the allegations Friday and said she wasn’t aware of the indictments.

Indicted along with the chiropractors were Clarissa Pogue, Christina Barrera, James Ralston, Elizabeth Guetersloh, Glenda Johnson, Sheila Huffman, Shannon Nenninger and Gary Walesky.

No defense lawyers were yet listed in court records.

The investigation included video surveillance of patients and analysis of patient bank records, court records show.

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