Following a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) investigation that continued for nearly 10 years, the Allstate Insurance Company received a judgment of more than $7 million in the company’s first medical fraud lawsuit in the state of Nevada.
The RICO complaint was filed against chiropractor Obteen Nassiri, D.C., in 2008, in the Las Vegas Federal District Court. It also included his businesses: Advanced Accident Chiropractic Care, ONN Management, Digital Imaging Services and Digital X-Ray. The Chiropractic Physicians’ Board of Nevada subsequently revoked Nassiri’s license as a result of the filing.
Nassiri’s alleged deceit of the insurance provider began in 2003. The suit charged that the defendant exhibited an overall pattern of illegal and fraudulent activity including: charging for treatment he did not provide, exaggerating clinical findings, submitting improbable diagnoses, providing unnecessary and excessive treatment, grossly misrepresenting billing, and making inappropriate referrals.
The case also accused Nassiri of operating a practice that referred patients to his clinics for unnecessary medical consultations and expensive diagnostic work to increase his revenue and profit.
In addition, the jury found Nassiri’s spouse, Jennifer Nassiri, liable for negligent misrepresentation in the overall fraudulent scheme to harm Allstate.
Allstate spokesperson Chelci Vaughan said in a news release statement, “Medical insurance fraud affects all policyholder’s premiums, and it’s not fair for consumers to pay higher rates for criminal behavior. We are committed to protecting our customers from being victimized by this type of fraud.”
The total judgment against the defendants included an award to Allstate for $3.59 million in compensatory damages, $2.51 million in punitive damages, and $1 million in pre-judgment interest. As a result of Allstate’s trial victory, the company is also pursuing more than $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs.
The monetary award means Allstate will recover money for the settlement of more than 150 auto accident claims that involved fraudulent costs. Allstate sought recovery against each defendant for their violation of both Nevada state and federal law based on a pattern of fraudulent behavior.
According to Allstate, the judgment should put unscrupulous providers on notice that the company maintains a zero-tolerance approach and will continue in the fight against insurance fraud.