TRENTON – A Perth Amboy man was sentenced to state prison today for illegally soliciting patients for Central Jersey Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Centres (Central Jersey), Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Jimmy Tovar, 36, of Perth Amboy, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz in Middlesex County. Tovar has been in custody since his arrest in July 2011. Tovar also executed a consent judgment for $1,854.70 in back taxes owned from the money he made from his “running” activities. Tovar’s sentence was based on his March 16 guilty plea to an accusation which charged him with conspiracy to commit running activity, acting as a runner, and failure to file a tax return, all in the third degree.
In pleading guilty, Tovar admitted that he conspired to procure clients, patients or customers in cooperation with a provider whose purpose was to seek to obtain benefits under an insurance contract for providing services to the insured. Tovar admitted that on 18 occasions in 2010, he accepted between $500 and $9,000 from a provider for the referral of people to Central Jersey.
Tovar also admitted that in 2010, he was paid $50,500 for soliciting people following automobile accidents to treat at Central Jersey and referring them to an attorney to pursue a claim for pain and suffering under a contract of insurance. Finally, Tovar was charged with failing to file a gross income tax return, FORM NJ-1040, with the intent to defraud or evade payment of New Jersey gross income tax for the tax year ending 2010.
Tovar was one of seven people charged by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in July 2011, following an investigation into suspected running activities related to Central Jersey Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Centres.
New Jersey’s “anti-running statute,” imposes criminal penalties for acting as a runner or using, directing, or employing a runner. The statute defines a runner as a person who attempts to procure a patient or client at the direction of and for a health care professional or attorney in exchange for a pecuniary benefit, when the health care professional or attorney intends to assert a claim against an insured person or an insurance carrier for providing services to the patient or client.
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