Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ Chiropractors Plead Guilty to Kickbacks

More than a year since their arrests, two North Jersey chiropractors pleaded guilty this week to accepting cash payments for patient referrals.

From left to right: Christopher Montana, Fernando Barrese (Photo: NJ Office of Attorney General)
From left to right: Christopher Montana, Fernando Barrese (Photo: NJ Office of Attorney General)

Christopher Montana of Morris County and Fernando Barrese of Bergen County admitted that between February and July 2011, they referred approximately 100 patients from their chiropractic facilities for additional services. The referrals were made in exchange for cash kickbacks of $500 per patient.

All of the patients were victims of motor vehicle accidents. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi called kickbacks “a bane of the auto insurance market.”

“Money is a strong incentive that influences doctors to refer their patients for testing, treatment or other services. All of these services are paid for with other people’s insurance premiums. Doctors should base their medical decisions on their patients’ needs, not their own pocketbooks,” Chillemi said.

Montana and Barrese are the owners of Chiropractic Centre of Elizabeth, Chiropractic Centre of Newark and Chiropractic Centre of Jersey City. In addition, Barrese owned Wallington Chiropractic Center.

In pleading guilty, the defendants also admitted to failing to report a combined total of more than a million dollars of income on their tax returns.

Sentencing has been scheduled for December 19. Under the plea agreement(s), the state will recommend that the defendants each be sentenced to seven years in state prison and pay a total of $200,000 in restitution to a total of 15 insurance carriers. In addition, each defendant’s chiropractic license will be suspended for 18 months. Montana and Barrese will each be ordered to pay tens of thousands in back taxes, penalties and interest.

Read more stories from NJ's police blotter

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!