SINGAPORE — A director of a chiropractic firm who falsified medical reports and conspired with two insurance agents to defraud their company was jailed eight months on Tuesday (6 August).
Charles Loo Boon Ann, referred 13 patients to the Manulife agents to have them file for insurance claims that they were not entitled to.
Loo, a 30-year-old Singaporean, pleaded guilty to six counts of engaging in a conspiracy with Manulife (Singapore) agents Priscilla Tien Ling, 27, and Mike Chew Jun Yong, 36, to cheat the insurer. Another 11 counts of the same nature were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Loo, who was a chiropractor and a director of Chiropractic Focus Group (CFG) at the time of the offences, is no longer listed as a doctor on CFG’s website.
The court heard that in early 2017, Loo met Tien and Chew and discussed ways to collaborate in their businesses. After several meetings, they agreed that Loo would refer patients seeking treatment at CFG for pre-existing conditions to Tien and Chew, who would then sell them Manulife’s personal accident insurance policies.
The patients would then be treated at CFG and claim the cost from Manulife through their insurance policies.
According to the prosecution, Loo, Tien, and Chew were aware that the policies did not cover pre-existing conditions and hence the patients’ treatment cost could not be claimed.
Loo would then falsify medical reports on which he would state that the patient sustained an injury, with the periods listed after the inception dates of their policies.
Tien and Chew have not been dealt with by the courts.
It was not revealed during court proceedings if the 13 patients involved in the fraudulent claims are under investigation.
For six of the patients whom Loo saw at his clinic, he would recommend them treatment packages, then tell them that they could buy a policy to cover the treatment cost.
Loo would refer the patients to Tien and Chew, who would apply for the policies on their behalf.
When the patients returned to CFG for treatment, Tien and Chew would submit a personal accident claim form and an invoice from CFG to Manulife on their behalf. The forms would state that the patient had slipped or fallen and injured themselves and had sought chiropractic treatment at CFG.
Loo would then prepare a medical report corroborating the purported circumstances under which the patient sustained injuries.
Of a total of $17,241 made in claims, only $4,450 was paid out.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Sng sought eight months’ jail for Loo, saying that he played a crucial role in ensuring that the scheme was perpetuated.
According to Loo’s lawyers, Ravinderpal Singh and Trent Ng, Loo had not actively referred his patients to Chew and Tien.
“In 2017, (Loo) treated 300 to 400 patients, but had only ever introduced approximately 10 of his patients to (Tien and Chew),” said Singh.
The two agents would request that Loo prepare medical reports in support of each patient’s insurance claim and make the necessary amendments to the reports.
Loo was uncomfortable with the changes proposed and had understood that his patients would ultimately be responsible for their insurance claim submissions, said Singh.
After dealing with with Chew and Tien for nine months, Loo decided that he no longer wanted to be part of their “questionable practices”.
Seeking four months’ jail for Loo, Singh said his client is the sole breadwinner who supports his wife and infant daughter.
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