A couple of Marietta chiropractors have each been sentenced to federal prison for using their clinic to defraud a private insurance company and the Internal Revenue Service of over a million dollars.
Allan Spagnardi, 41, and Stacy Spagnardi, 52, both of Atlanta, were each sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison and three years of supervised release, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
Both defendants were also ordered to pay full restitution to their victims.
According to court documents, the Spagnardis operated the “Dr. Allan Spagnardi Chiropractic” clinic in a strip mall on Terrell Mill Road in Marietta, where over several years they used their patients’ personal information to bill a private insurance company for services that were never rendered.
“At times, the Spagnardis submitted claims for reimbursement for services occurring when they were not even in the country,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. “For instance, the Spagnardis claimed that their clinic had 296 patient visits during a week that they were actually on a cruise vacation out of the country.”
Despite earning well over $1 million in personal income in 2014 and 2015, the Spagnardis also failed to file federal income tax returns or pay federal income taxes for those tax years and instead took steps to hide their true income from the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors said.
Stacy Spagnardi spent much of the proceeds at casinos and Allan Spagnardi used portions to buy a BMW motorcycle and a 2015 BMW M4, court documents show.
Even after being indicted, the Spagnardis continued to take steps to hide their income from the IRS, including by filing a false federal income tax return in early 2018, authorities claimed.
“Health care professionals who defraud insurance companies do not just abuse the trust afforded to them by their patients, they also drive up health care prices for honest citizens throughout the country,” said U.S. Attorney Byung Pak.
FBI special agent Chris Hacker of Atlanta said the Spagnardis’ sentences will serve to warn others that schemes to steal from taxpayers and defraud the health care industry will not be tolerated.
“The Spagnardis chose to take advantage of patients and the entire health care industry by billing for services that were never provided and defrauding the IRS,” Hacker said.