MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - An ad agency conspired with chiropractors to use misleading ads, police scanners and "hot girl" bikini contests to persuade Latinos who were in car accidents to seek unneeded medical treatments, four insurance companies say in a federal RICO complaint.
The insurers say they paid more than $250,000 in claims under Minnesota's no-fault medical insurance program to the owners of three mobile chiropractic and massage clinics.
Illinois Farmers Insurance and its co-plaintiffs say Linea Latina De Accidentes solicits patients for the mobile clinics by promising free health care and legal representation, cash, shopping sprees, gasoline gift cards, gift bags and bikini contests at a local bar - all to defraud insurance providers.
In a typical case, the insurers say, a Linea Latina "runner" arrives at an accident victim's home, followed shortly by one of the mobile chiropractic clinics. The runners encourage the accident victims to receive expensive adjustments, even if they were not injured, saying that they'll feel pain "later on," the complaint states.
"One of these insureds was diagnosed by defendant Advanced Injury Specialists with 13 different diagnosed injuries from his motor vehicle accident despite the fact that the insured was denying being injured in the accident," according to the complaint. "The insured's only interest in contacting Linea Latina had been to get assistance in communicating with the police and getting his vehicle fixed."
The insurers say the defendants billed them for substandard and incomplete treatments, charged excessive fees and took illegal kickbacks.
They add that Linea Latina has no "visible source of revenue." It gets money from its chiropractor partners, though it does not disclose this arrangement, the insurers say.
Illinois Farmers Insurance, Mid-Century Insurance, Horace Mann Insurance and Bristol West Insurance sued Linea Latina and its owner Cristina Suarez, along with Mobile Care Chiropractic; Kristi Lea Zimmerman, DC; Advanced Injury Specialists; Renewal Bodyworks; Scott A. Allan, DC; and Alex Prigoda.
The insurers allege RICO violations, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, violations of federal anti-kickback statutes and other charges.
They seek reimbursement of all money paid for "no-fault medical expense benefits," and want Mobile Care Chiropractic and Advanced Injury Specialists to be dissolved.
They are represented by Richard Stempel of Hopkins, Minn.
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