How does a Scientologist fall all the way down from the top of the Scientology Bridge at OT VIII and become an inmate in US Federal prison? The answer is simple: Greed and stealing tens of millions of dollars from insurance companies and the US Government.
Following his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, Scientologist and chiropractor James “Jay” Spina was sentenced to nine years (108 months) in prison. Spina is presently incarcerated in the US Federal Correctional Institute at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Spina was convicted for his part in a sophisticated criminal enterprise in which US taxpayers and insurance companies were swindled for tens of millions of dollars in a Medicare and insurance billing scheme fraud.
As part of his sentence, Spina was ordered to pay $9,760,555.20 in restitution and to forfeit $9,105,741.61 in assets. The financial penalties for Spina’s crime totaled $18,866,296.81.
When Jay Spina leaves prison at age 73, he will be broke. This is the abject state in which Scientology OTVIII Jay Spina will find himself: An old and broke convicted felon. The Church of Scientology did nothing to stop Jay Spina during his multi-year crime spree. Instead, it raked in donations from Spina’s ill-gotten gains and gave him trophies in return.
As we say far too often here, the only crime in Scientology is getting caught. The Church of Scientology’s tolerance for the criminality of both its staff and general membership marks it as an avaricious and vindictive dirty business masquerading as a religion. Just like the mob, Scientology celebrates its earners. But once these people are arrested, Scientology suddenly doesn’t know them.
Jay Spina’s brother Jeff Spina, also a Scientology OT8 and a chiropractor, plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing for his involvement in the criminal enterprise. Others involved in the conspiracy have been sentenced.
In announcing Jay Spina’s incarceration, Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York said:
“James Spina led a sophisticated, widespread, and callous scheme that put greed and profits ahead of patients and their well-being. In doing so, he betrayed his professional obligations and bilked insurance companies and Medicare out of millions of dollars. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of federal and state investigative agencies, Spina will now serve a lengthy sentence in federal prison.”
The basis of the fraud perpetrated by the Spina brothers was an entity called Dolson Avenue Medical or “DAM.” US Attorney Strauss said of the Spina brothers their Dolson Avenue Medical scam:
JAMES SPINA also went to great lengths to conceal his control and ownership of DAM and the Associated Businesses. In particular, JAMES SPINA and one of his co-conspirators recruited medical doctors and other professionals to serve as the nominee owners of DAM and the Associated Businesses. JAMES SPINA further concealed his ownership of DAM and the Associated Businesses by transferring revenues of these companies into other companies that he and a co-defendant owned.
To further disguise these transfers, JAMES SPINA drafted fake lease and marketing agreements between DAM and the Associated Businesses and purported real estate and marketing companies he owned, and referred to the payments as “rent” or “marketing fees.” JAMES SPINA and his co-conspirators also used phony and nonexistent addresses for the corporations so that it would appear that DAM and the Associated Businesses were operating out of separate locations.
The Spina brothers plead guilty to thousands of sham billings:
In particular, JAMES SPINA and his co-conspirators: (a) submitted and caused to be submitted claims to Insurance Providers for medically unnecessary services and procedures; (b) submitted and caused to be submitted claims to Insurance Providers for medical services that were not rendered; (c) double billed, i.e., submitted and caused to be submitted multiple claims for the same service to two different Insurance Providers; (d) altered and fabricated medical records; and (e) obstructed and impeded audits by Medicare and other Insurance Providers to conceal their fraud.
The Spina brothers hired a medical doctor to give facet injections. However, this doctor was unqualified to give facet injections and, shockingly, learned to do so by watching YouTube videos:
As part of the fraudulent scheme, one of the doctors who worked at DAM and the Associated Businesses introduced a lucrative procedure called a facet injection. Because the facet joints to which the injections are applied are near the spinal cord, such procedures are high-risk, with a small margin for error. The doctor had no formal training in the procedure, and taught himself by shadowing other doctors and watching YouTube videos.
Although these facet injections given by an unqualified doctor resulted in adverse reactions and even one patient death, Jay Spina continued to push this part of his practice as it was so profitable:
JAMES SPINA was intimately involved with all billing related aspects of the facet injections, and continued to encourage their use even after several patients suffered serious, adverse events, and one patient died of complications following a facet injection.
The US Department of Justice press release on Jay Spina’s sentencing:
Categories: The Scientology Money Project