STUDIO CITY—On Tuesday, June 15, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that 12 chiropractors were charged in a $2.5 million insurance fraud and illegal kickback scheme that involved automobile collision medical claims.

“Defrauding insurance companies is a serious crime that costs all of us in the form of higher premiums,” said District Attorney Gascón. “We will continue to work with local, state and federal regulators to protect consumers from financial crimes.”

Eleven defendants are being charged with nine felony counts, including insurance fraud and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed as a chiropractor. The scheme’s alleged ringleader, Yury Chernega, 50, of Studio City, is facing an additional count of money laundering. The charges include allegations of taking more than $500,000 from about 30 insurance companies through embezzlement and fraud.

According to prosecutors, from 2014 through 2019, Chernega allegedly offered to refer new patients to other chiropractors in return for an illegal referral fee, through which he collected around $2.5 million. The patients allegedly were involved in automobile collisions.

It is further alleged that the defendants filed false claims for medical services they never provided. The case stems from an ongoing case involving Chernega and 14 additional chiropractors filed in 2019 which alleges approximately $6 million in illegal referral fees.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Division and Bureau of Investigation.