ST. LOUIS — A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Jefferson County chiropractor, one current and one former employee of conspiring to commit disability fraud.
Vivian Carbone-Hobbs, 60; Christina Barrera, 63; and Clarissa Pogue, 39, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration.
Carbone-Hobbs was also convicted of 10 counts of healthcare fraud and two counts of theft of money.
Pogue was additionally convicted of one count of theft of money.
The three conspired with each other and other to fraudulently obtain disability payments from patients, according to federal prosecutors.
Carbone-Hobbs and her husband Thomas Hobbs, 65, co-own Power-Med Inc., a chiropractic clinic in Arnold.
According to court documents, the chiropractors would coach patients at Power-Med Inc. on how to conceal their abilities so they would seem unable to work or perform basic functions like lifting, sitting, standing and walking in exchange for thousands of dollars. Patients would also pay for annual appointments to continue qualifying for disability payments.
Carbone-Hobbs would also bill insurance companies for services that were not provided to patients, the press release said.
Hobbs pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy and admitted to conspiring to commit health care fraud, making false statements, Social Security fraud and theft of government funds.
He admitted that at the beginning of 2011, he fraudulently assisted patients in receiving more than $3.5 million in disability benefit payments, according to the press release. He would charge patients between $2,000 and %8,600 to prepare disability forms and coach them.
Hobbs also admitted between 2011 and 2019 he purchased and dispensed prescription medications, administered injections and dispensed medications intravenously to patients despite not having a medical license.
Hobbs is scheduled to be sentenced on April 19, while Carbone-Hobbs, Barrera and Pogue are scheduled to be sentenced on May 4.
The conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. The healthcare fraud and theft charges carry up to 10 years and the same fine.
Carbone-Hobbs, Barrera and Pogue would also be ordered to repay the money.
Sixteen other defendants have been convicted or pleaded guilty. One case is still pending.