A Westmoreland County chiropractor who operated two spine clinics in West Virginia will spend 18 months in federal prison for fraudulently billing insurance companies and workers' compensation programs and not paying his taxes.
Joseph Yurigan, 62, of New Alexandria was sentenced Thursday to that term in U.S. District Court in Wheeling, where in October he had pleaded guilty to health care fraud and tax evasion charges.
In addition to the false billings, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS said he deliberately evaded paying income taxes on more than $800,000 he earned in 2008 from his clinics, Weirton Chiropractic Clinic and Wheeling Spine Center.
As part of his plea deal, Yurigan also must pay more than $513,000 in restitution for the health care violations and $322,000 for tax offenses dating to 2005.
Yurigan was indicted in 2011 following an investigation by the FBI, IRS, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and West Virginia Insurance Commission. Prosecutors in Wheeling also seized his property and his two Mercedes vehicles.
Between 2004 and 2009, agents said, he billed for office visits and chiropractic services he never performed. In addition, he concealed his income, destroyed business records and hid assets from the IRS by placing them in the names of his children, according to prosecutors.
The case began with a complaint to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, after which agents visited Yurigan's offices numerous times, complaining of fake symptoms and receiving treatment.
In one instance, prosecutors said, an agent received massage therapy, but Yurigan billed and was paid for ultrasound, electrical stimulation and other procedures never rendered.
In addition, agents determined Yurigan earned about $815,000 from both offices in 2008 but paid no taxes. Agents said he evaded paying $322,690 in taxes from 2005 to 2008.
He remains free on bond until Oct. 7, when he must self-report to prison.
Torsten Ove: email@example.com or 412-263-1510. First Published September 5, 2013 12:15 AM