Rocky Mount Chiropractor, Employee Convicted In Insurace Fraud Scheme
Posted September 22, 2006 6:10 a.m. EDT
Updated December 12, 2007 4:14 p.m. EST
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — State and federal investigators are sniffing out insurance fraud crimes throughout North Carolina. Staged accidents cost Americans $80 billion a year -- $950 per family -- and have resulted in the deaths of innocent people involved in the incidents.
Former Rocky Mount chiropractor Mark McKinnon is now serving seven years in federal prison on insurance fraud convictions. Records show McKinnon coached people, including his own employees, on staging fake accidents. He would then diagnose injuries of people who claimed to be hurt in the crashes, send in bogus insurance claims, and share some of the money with his conspirators.
"They showed he treated our undercovers 20, 25 times, and in many cases, never touched them and never saw them," said Al Koehler, North Carolina Department of Insurance investigations director.
Ebony Hedgepeth, who this week was sentenced to four months in federal prison, falsely claimed her children were hurt in fake accidents. McKinnnon, her boss, engineered the fraud.
Investigators said McKinnon was so bold that he bought a limousine and hired people to go out in the limo to recruit other people to come into the office with fake injuries.
"It was unbelievable," said Koehler. "The volume of claims compared to other chiropractors ... was very high."
Several other suspects in the Rocky Mount case are expected to plead guilty or go to trial. Last year, NCDOI investigations led to more than 50 convictions and $25 million in recovered money.