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ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 28 -- The Minnesota Department of Commerce issued the following news release:
Today, 42-year-old former chiropractor and Cambridge City Council Member David James Schornstein has been criminally charged with three counts of insurance fraud in Isanti County District Court for fraudulent billing practices involving his chiropractic clinic. The criminal complaint alleges that from January 2011 through December 2011, Schornstein fraudulently billed an insurance company for chiropractic and massage-therapy services.
In August 2011, the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners suspended Schornstein's license to practice chiropractic medicine; however, the suspension was stayed as long as Schornstein complied with certain requirements. The Chiropractic Board allowed Schornstein to be involved in the business operations of his Cambridge clinic, but he was not allowed to practice chiropractic medicine. As a result, Schornstein employed a licensed chiropractor at his clinic.
An investigation conducted by agents from the Commerce Fraud Bureau uncovered evidence that, contrary to the restrictions imposed by the Chiropractic Board, Schornstein continued to treat patients. In fact, from September 2011 through November 2011, he billed an insurance carrier under the Personal Injury Protection coverage for services which were not provided or contained material misrepresentations in the claims.
"We entrust medical professionals with great responsibility to not only care for us in our time of need, but also be honest in billing for treatment," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "Whether large or small matters, the Commerce Department Fraud Bureau will take action to investigate and stop criminal fraud."
The criminal complaint states Schornstein fraudulently billed a total of $8,385.00 worth of services, which the Commerce Fraud Bureau investigation identified as fraudulent during 2011. According to the complaint, in an interview with an agent from the Commerce Fraud Bureau, Schornstein admitted he submitted fraudulent billings.
To avoid a conflict of interest, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office accepted this case from the Isanti County Attorney's Office.
"Medical professionals, lawyers, judges and elected officials have special responsibilities to society," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. "Mr. Schornstein betrayed this trust when he committed insurance fraud. This office will deal firmly and quickly with this criminal action and breach of trust."
If convicted, Schornstein faces a potential maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or $10,000 for each of the three counts of insurance fraud. Any sentence would be determined by a state district court judge.
Report Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud is a crime with serious criminal consequences. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, insurance fraud is the most costly white collar crime in the United States, behind tax evasion.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce receives tips from companies and individuals that suspect fraud. Minnesotans can report fraud anonymously by calling the Commerce Fraud Bureau at 1-888-FRAUDMN (1-888-372-8366).
More information about insurance fraud in Minnesota can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website (http://mn.gov/commerce/topics/fraud-bureau/).
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