A Pennsylvanian chiropractor is being prosecuted for a fraudulent insurance claim after an accident in Maryland. Larry Herman has pleaded guilty in a Pennsylvania court to filing false health care statements, which is a felony.
These statements were filed as a fraudulent automobile accident claim to USAA insurance in May 2012, after he sustained injuries in a Maryland crash that took place in August 2011. Herman, who owns Herman Chiropractic in Waynesboro, PA, allegedly forced a colleague to create false records. Demanding $60,000 from USAA, he printed the documents with a letterhead for a fake business.
The median salary for chiropractors is somewhere around $66,160.
During his hearing, Herman had several friends testify to U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo about his good character, pointing out his involvement charities such as Marathon Maniacs, his former membership of the board of directors of Running USA, his founding of Running Down a Dream, and his win of the 2006 Lewis Memorial Annual Award from the Frederick Steeplechasers’ Running Club. But that would not be enough to get him out of prison time.
“I’ve grown to know Larry as a rare and truly selfless person,” James Hyrkas said. He said Herman’s guilty plea to a felony crime was an “absolute aberration” in his overall character. In addition to the friends who testified, 17 more people sent the judge letters of support.
Herman’s attorney attempted to persuade the judge to consider a 10 to 16 month sentence, as he never even received the $60,000 from USAA. Herman was also the only person to be tried for the claim, despite the involvement of several others as well. However, sentencing guidelines are based on intended, not actual loss, and the involvement of others was based on coercion, so the arguments did not stand.
“I apologize to everyone involved for my actions,” Herman said.
While the judge agreed that the actions were out of character for Herman, she said that a just punishment was necessary and sentenced him to five months in prison, five months of home confinement within a one year sentence of supervised release, and a $700 fine.
The maximum penalty for this charge is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.