U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey on Thursday sentenced a chiropractor from Jefferson County, Missouri to four years in prison and ordered her to repay $16.4 million lost to disability fraud, U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming announced Friday.
Vivian Carbone-Hobbs, now 61, of Fenton, was convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in February of conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration, 10 counts of health care fraud, and two counts of theft of money from the United States.
Carbone-Hobbs and her husband, Thomas G. Hobbs, are co-owners of Power-Med Inc., a chiropractic clinic in Arnold, Missouri. The couple, some of their employees, and others conspired with each other and others to fraudulently obtain disability payments for patients. In exchange for upfront fees of thousands of dollars, Carbone-Hobbs, Hobbs, and others would coach patients on how to pretend to be unable to work and unable to lift objects, sit, stand, and walk. Patients had to pay hundreds of dollars for annual appointments to keep qualifying for disability payments.
Carbone-Hobbs was also billing insurance companies for services that were not provided.
Hobbs, 65, pleaded guilty in January to a conspiracy charge and admitted conspiring to commit the crimes of health care fraud, making false statements, theft of government funds, and Social Security fraud. He was sentenced in September to four years in prison and ordered to repay $4.3 million.
The cases were investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy Berry, Dorothy McMurtry, Diane Klocke, and Gwendolyn Carroll are prosecuting the case.