A Twin Cities personal injury attorney admitted in federal court Monday to participating in a scheme to defraud auto insurance companies through bogus health care claims.
William Kyle Sutor III, a 37-year-old St. Louis Park lawyer, told U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel the scheme started with “runners” who brought him clients who had been victims of car accidents. The clients all had no-fault insurance policies, which, under Minnesota law, must provide a minimum of $20,000 medical benefit expenses.
On three separate occasions, Sutor worked with two chiropractors, unnamed in court documents, also in on the scheme. Sutor paid the runners $300 per client, and chiropractors paid between $1,000 and $1,500, Sutor said.
Then Sutor billed the insurance companies for chiropractic services that he knew the patient never received.
Sutor tried to conceal the scheme by paying runners in cash or in checks made out to business entities for seemingly legitimate services like translation or investigation, according to the plea agreement. “In reality, as the defendant knew, the payments were not for those legitimate services but instead were simply in exchange for the client referral.”
In June 2015, a runner brought Sutor a prospective client. The following April, Sutor submitted a letter to the insurance company falsely stating the client, who was actually an undercover agent, had received chiropractic treatment totaling $24,000 to settle a bodily injury claim.
Per the agreement, Sutor pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The crime carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. In light of Sutor’s cooperation with law enforcement, prosecutors are asking for 10 to 16 months, plus up to $55,000 in fines and $14,600 in restitution, according to the plea agreement.
Brasel will determine the final sentence at a later date. In the meantime, Brasel released Sutor on his own recognizance.
Sutor, who graduated from Hamline University School of Law School in 2008, specializes in personal injury cases, such as car accidents, bicycling accidents and falls, according to his website.