U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr. sentenced chiropractor Joseph J. Yurigan to 18 months in prison Thursday for fraudulently billing insurance companies and evading tax payments on more than $800,000 of income.
Yurigan, 62, of New Alexandria, Pa., is the owner and operator of the Weirton Chiropractic Clinic and the former Wheeling Spine Center. He pleaded guilty last year to single counts of health care fraud and tax evasion.
Yurigan will be placed on supervised released for two years after he is released from prison. Stamp also ordered Yurigan to pay approximately $836,000 in restitution. He remains free on bond and will self-report to prison on Oct. 7.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation launched an investigation into Yurigan's practices after receiving a complaint that the doctor was not returning one of his employees to work.
Two agents visited Yurigan's office under pseudonyms more than 65 times throughout the investigation, complaining of false symptoms and subsequently receiving treatment.
On July 1, 2009, an agent received massage therapy at Yurigan's Wheeling office. The office billed and received compensation for performing five procedures, however, including electrical stimulation and an ultrasound.
According to Internal Revenue Service investigators, Yurigan earned approximately $815,000 between his two offices in 2008. The IRS determined Yurigan owed $76,500 in taxes, but paid none.
A federal grand jury indicted Yurigan in August 2011 on 33 counts of health care fraud, four counts of tax evasion and one count of interfering with the administration of IRS laws. Some of the allegations dated back to as early as 2004.