Wiseth must also pay restitution totaling more than $330,000.
A former Thief River Falls chiropractor was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for wire fraud in a case that involved him submitting bills to insurance companies that topped $3 million, many for treatments he did not provide, from March 2013 to approximately April of 2015.
In court Tuesday, Dr. Steven Richard Wiseth, 36, was ordered to report to prison before 10 a.m. on July 22.
Wiseth must also pay $337,195.11 in restitution. As part of a plea agreement, five other counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft were dismissed.
During the two-year time frame Wiseth was accused of wrongdoing, the insurance companies paid him and his clinic, Health Quest Family Chiropractic, more than $1 million. Health Quest closed several years ago in Thief River Falls, but it continued to operate in Grand Forks.
Wiseth voluntarily surrendered his Minnesota chiropractic license in 2017.
During the approximately two years he was accused of wrongdoing, Wiseth held promotional events where he provided free food and drink, prizes and gift certificates to induce current and prospective patients to visit Health Quest. After the events, Wiseth billed insurance companies for chiropractic services purportedly provided to a number of people who attended the events, including billing for services that weren’t provided. In some instances, Wiseth used the personal and insurance information of those who attended his events, without their knowledge, to bill their insurance companies for services that were not provided.
According to court documents, in one instances in particular, Wiseth held a grand opening event on March 28, 2013, when his office moved to another location in Thief River Falls. He then submitted bills to insurance companies, indicating he had treated 178 patients that day and provided 592 services. The pattern was similar on Feb. 13, 2014, when Wiseth held a promotional event at his clinic that he called “ValenSpine’s Day.” He submitted bills to insurance companies, indicating he had treated about 219 patients that day and provided 641 services.
Wiseth was also accused of turning in fraudulent bills for treatments involving a wobble chair, which is designed help patients develop core strength and add endurance. Wiseth indicated that he supervised the patient usingthe wobble chair for at least eight minutes during a 15-minute period. The investigation proved his claims for false, or exaggerated. Often, during his various events, the wobble chairs were in the waiting room and people briefly sat on them. For these types of treatments, Wiseth billed insurance companies in excess of $600,000, and he was reimbursed $331,420.