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Alleged Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Ring Target of Federal Lawsuit
Date:3/6/2008

Allstate Insurance Company Uncovers Suspected Five-State Scheme

IRVING, Texas, March 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- An Arlington, Texas based chiropractic company and its owner lead a list of 66 defendants in a federal fraud lawsuit filed Thursday in Dallas. The suit alleges deception and coercion were used against people involved in automobile accidents at clinics in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama.

Allstate Insurance Company filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Chiropractic Strategies Group, Inc., its owner Michael Kent Plambeck, related law office management companies, attorneys, telemarketers, and others involved in the alleged fraud scheme. Allstate seeks in excess of $10 million.

The lawsuit was filed following an extensive investigation by Allstate's Special Investigative Unit, and seeks reimbursement for the sums Allstate has paid in regard to allegedly fraudulent claims. The lawsuit allegations include violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), for which Allstate seeks treble damages and recovery of its attorney's fees and court costs.

"Insurance fraud is a billion dollar business that costs the average consumer $300 in higher insurance premiums every year," said Edward Moran, Allstate assistant vice president in charge of the company's Special Investigation Unit. "Allstate is aggressively pursuing the fight against insurance fraud to protect consumers and help keep insurance costs down."

According to the 67 page complaint, the organization solicits persons who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents through telemarketing, which includes calls from a telemarketing entity the organization operates in Kenner, Louisiana. The telemarketers promise the prospective patients a free examination, and at times falsely represent that they are representatives of "Allstate" or an "insurance company."

Coerced and Deceived

The Court filing alleges that, once at the clinic, the solicited individuals are often coerced and deceived into treatment through a process the organization calls "conversion." Potential patients are allegedly told they have sustained substantial injuries and require an immediate course of treatment. The complaint further alleges patients are then put through a standardized and unnecessary treatment plan. Once a solicited individual is "converted" into a patient, they are referred to a personal injury law office associated with the organization. The Complaint alleges persons working at these law offices often come directly to the clinics to "sign up" patients as clients.

The Defendants

Named in the suit are Michael Kent Plambeck, D.C., Michael Capobianco, D.C., Paul Grindstaff, D.C., Robert Ekin D.C., Glen Wilcoxson, M.D., Randall Toca, Roland G. Toca II, Angel Junio, Douglas Friedman, Jennifer Giessner, Kim Grindstaff, Charles Mora, Irma Escandon, and Attorneys Eugene Mercier, Rodney Sipes, Margaret Ingle, Thomas Magelaner, Andrew LoCicero, and Scot Labourdette. Business entities named in the suit include Chiropractic Strategies Group, Inc., Media Placement Services, Inc., Professional Management Group, LLC, Law Office Network, LLC and associated clinics in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama.

Call to Action

Persons who have knowledge of, or have been victimized by, the scheme alleged in the complaint are encouraged to report this information to the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).

Past and Present Clinics Locations

Texas Ohio Indiana Alabama

Dallas Cincinnati Indianapolis Birmingham

Grand Prairie Columbus Hammond Mobile

Haltom City Toledo South Bend Huntsville

Arlington Akron

Amarillo Cleveland

McAllen Canton

Harlingen Dayton

Weslaco Youngstown

Brownsville

Laredo

El Paso

San Antonio

Austin

Beaumont

Texas City

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate(R)" slogan, Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,900 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through Allstate agencies, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate(R). Encompass(R) and Deerbrook(R) Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers.


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SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company
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