Marietta chiropractor who bilked insurers gets prison

Published: 2011-06-30 11:53:37
Author: David Ibata | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | June 24, 2011

A 43-year-old Marietta chiropractor who lured patients to his chain of clinics by giving away gift cards, frozen turkeys and raffle tickets for luxury cars was sentenced to prison Friday after he admitted bilking insurance companies out of more than $6.5 million, federal prosecutors said.

Andrew L. Sokol was ordered to serve to 4 years and 9 months, and three years of supervised released. Chief U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes also ordered him to pay $6,599,456 in restitution.

Sokol pleaded guilty last October to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He admitted fraudulently submitting millions of dollars in insurance claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield and other private insurers for physical therapy services that were never provided.

Sokol's wife, chiropractor Julie Weisberg, also was charged in the scheme. Those charges were dropped when Sokol pleaded guilty and asserted his spouse was not involved, said Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release, “Frauds like these ultimately affect everyone – individuals, families, and communities – in higher premiums and higher service costs. The prison sentence imposed today shows that health care fraud is a serious crime."

Sokol was a licensed chiropractor who owned and operated WellnessOnechiropractic clinics in Marietta, Buckhead, Duluth, Vinings and other locations throughout metro Atlanta. The clinics offered massage, personal training and chiropractic services to patients.

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