Chiropractor jailed, fined for workers' comp fraud

Published: 2012-02-08 15:14:57
Author: The Monterey County Herald Herald Staff Report

 A Salinas chiropractor was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $5,000 on three misdemeanor counts of workers' compensation fraud Tuesday, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced.

Robert Schreiner, 59, was sentenced to three years probation by Judge Marla Anderson and was ordered to pay $1,977 in restitution to an insurance trust fund.

Schreiner is eligible for a work alternative program, Flippo said.

The case originated in October 2006, when two employees of container business Smurfit-Stone complained to the District Attorney's Office that workers were being discouraged from opening workers' compensation claims at the Salinas plant.

During the investigation, Flippo said, it was discovered that from 1999 through 2007, injured workers were being treated outside the workers' compensation system and managers were discouraging them from filing claims and receiving their benefits.

The managers sent injured workers to various medical providers for treatment, then paid for treatment directly from the company.

One worker said he told Schreiner, who owns and practices at the California Chiropractic Center in Salinas, that he hurt his back and shoulder while working. Schreiner, he said, insisted his back problem was from carrying a backpack as a child.

The worker indicated he still suffered from the injuries, Flippo said.