A psychologist from Minnesota’s Twin Cities acknowledged in federal court that he had billed an American Indian tribe’s insurance account for services he had never performed. The total amount of false billings was over $500,000 USD.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota said on Thursday that Charles Jorenby, 57, of Chanhassen, pled guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in a federal courtroom in St. Paul.
In a plot to defraud the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and its insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, prosecutors allege that Jorenby acted between January 2013 and February 2020.
At least 29 members of the tribal community who were patients of Jorenby’s at Life Dynamics in Prior Lake had him submit bogus invoices to Blue Cross for services he never rendered. Prosecutors estimated that the damage to the tribe, which pays for its members’ Blue Cross accounts, was at least $550,000.
Members of the tribe Jorenby claimed to have helped were unaware their identities and ages were used in the fraud.
Jorenby agreed to two counts of insurance fraud in his plea agreement, including one against State Farm. After a fire broke out at Jorenby’s office in 2017, he admitted that he had exaggerated the loss of money due to the blaze, which included funds from the fraud plan against the Shakopee Mdewakanton.
According to the prosecution, Jorenby’s fraudulent billing tactics resulted in a fire settlement of over $105,000 from State Farm.
The federal grand jury indicted them on October 3 after an investigation by DHS and the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau. On April 27, there will be a hearing to determine punishment.
Jorenby may spend as much as 20 years in federal prison and pay penalties and reparations to the Shakopee Mdewakanton, Blue Cross, and State Farm for their losses.
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice’s database no longer includes Jorenby among its results for a search of professional credentials.