The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, today announced the Federal grand jury indictment of ten individuals in a Missouri-based disability fraud scheme that caused a loss of more than $12 million to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and private health and disability insurance companies.
The indictment, filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri last week, charged the individuals with counts of conspiracy to defraud, theft of government funds, and health care fraud. Dr. Thomas Hobbs and his wife, Dr. Vivian Carbone-Hobbs, both chiropractors, are alleged to have submitted false documentation to SSA and private insurance companies in support of disability claims for Anheuser Busch InBev employees. Members of the Hobbs’ office staff are implicated in the scheme as well. The indictment further alleges the conspirators submitted false claims for reimbursement for unnecessary medical treatment to private insurance companies. The conspiracy allowed non-disabled persons to qualify for Social Security and private disability benefits, going back as far as 2011.
According to the indictment, Dr. Hobbs also falsified his medical qualifications and claimed to be a licensed M.D. in support of his patients’ disability claims to Social Security and private insurance companies.
“We are committed to identifying—and dismantling—large-scale, facilitator fraud schemes in which trusted providers and claimants knowingly undermine the integrity of the Social Security disability program to enrich themselves,” Inspector General Ennis said. “My office is committed to holding medical professionals accountable for using their position to facilitate disability fraud at the expense of the taxpayers. We will continue to work with SSA, our law enforcement partners, and the Department of Justice to ensure only those who are truly disabled receive these much-needed benefits.”
“The Social Security Administration has zero tolerance for fraud and we are dedicated to ensuring the public’s trust in our programs,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “If you suspect a person or group of attempting to defraud the Federal government, we urge you to report it so we can continue paying benefits only to those who are eligible.”
This investigation was conducted under the supervision of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Jason Albers of the Social Security OIG’s Kansas City Field Division. Inspector General Ennis thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its partnership in investigating this scheme, and the United States Attorney’s Office for its support of the investigation, which led to this indictment.
Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Members of the public are encouraged to report suspected Social Security fraud to the OIG at https://oig.ssa.gov.