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A former Orange County chiropractor was sentenced this week to 70 months in federal prison for stealing from health insurers by fraudulently causing the submission of $2.2 million in billings for chiropractic services never provided, medical diagnoses never given, office visits that never occurred, and medical devices that were falsely prescribed.

57 year old Susan H. Poon, of Dana Point, was sentenced and ordered her to pay $1,379,622 in restitution to her victims. Poon’s chiropractic license was revoked in July 2019, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

At the conclusion of a five-day trial in June 2021, a federal jury found Poon guilty of five counts of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Jurors deliberated about eight hours over two days before convicting her of all nine felony healthcare fraud charges.

At the time of her arrest, she operated Head 2 Toe Wellness in Rancho Santa Margarita, where prosecutors said she defrauded Anthem and Aetna insurance companies hundreds of times between January 2015 and April 2018.

She was among 34 people charged in 2019 in what authorities described as a multistate investigation into $257 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing. Prosecutors pinned $2.2 million of that on Poon by identifying dozens of patients with hundreds of procedures that were simply made up. Not only were the procedures never performed, in many instances, the patients had never seen Poon and didn’t know she was using their identities to get money from insurance companies..

The patients that Poon claimed to have met with and treated were dependents – such as the spouses and children – of Costco Wholesale Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. employees. Poon obtained the personal identifying information by attending health fairs at various UPS warehouses and Costco locations and soliciting such information from employees.

“[Poon’s] scheme consisted of interdependent moving parts,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “She lied about visits with, diagnoses of, and treatments given to actual people and their children. She sent fraudulent Durable Medical Equipment (DME) prescriptions – predicated on visits with these patients that never happened – to a DME manufacturer. And she fabricated medical documentation containing the personal identifying information of these ‘ghost’ patients to mislead an auditor.”

In total, Poon billed and caused to be billed approximately $2.2 million through her scheme.