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Case Number: 4:20-cr-00557
Judge: Henry E. Autrey
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in St. Louis
Description: St. Louis, Missouri criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States of America.
Clarissa Pogue, age 40, of DeSoto, Missouri and Christina Barrera, age 64 of St. Louis, Missouri were convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in February of one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration, along with chiropractor Vivian Carbone-Hobbs. Carbone-Hobbs, now 61, of Fenton, was also convicted of 10 counts of health care fraud and two counts of theft of money from the United States. Pogue was also convicted of one count of theft of money from the United States.
The three conspired with Thomas G. Hobbs, Carbone-Hobbs’ husband, and others to fraudulently obtain disability payments for patients who were not disabled or injured.
Carbone-Hobbs and Hobbs own Power-Med Inc., a chiropractic clinic in Arnold. Hobbs, now 66, pleaded guilty in January and admitted conspiring to commit the crimes of health care fraud, making false statements, theft of government funds and Social Security fraud.
Hobbs admitted that beginning in 2011, he fraudulently assisted patients in receiving more than $3.5 million in disability benefit payments through the Social Security Administration’s Disability Trust Fund and through private disability benefit insurance providers. Hobbs charged patients thousands of dollars in exchange for the preparation of disability forms. He also coached patients in how to lie to the Social Security Administration and private insurers about their ability to perform basic activities like lifting things, sitting, standing and walking. Patients also had to pay hundreds of dollars for annual appointments to keep qualifying for disability payments.
Hobbs also used a fictitious medical license number and submitted false and fraudulent medical reports to buttress patients’ disability claims. Hobbs submitted or caused to be submitted false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement to health care benefit programs for services that were not provided, medically unnecessary services or services provided by unqualified persons to make it appear that the disability patients had medical conditions.
The chiropractors, employees and patients all faced charges in the case. Hobbs and Carbone-Hobbs will be sentenced later this year.
The cases were investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy Berry, Dorothy McMurtry, Diane Klocke and Gwendolyn Carroll are prosecuting the case.
Outcome: Barrera was sentenced to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a total term of 14 months as to count 1rs, with recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons. Supervised Released for a term of 3 years. Restitution of $543,315.42. Special Assessment of $100 due immediately.
Pogue: ELECTRONIC MINUTE ENTRY (no pdf attached) for proceedings held before District Judge Henry Edward Autrey: Sentencing as to Clarissa Pogue held on 8/17/2023. Parties present. Objections to presentence report filed by defendant. Arguments and Testimony heard. Exhibits received. Objections are OVERRULED and DENIED. Presentence report adopted/accepted by Court as findings of fact. Sentence imposed. See judgment. A special assessment in the amount of $200 is due immediately. The defendant shall make restitution in the total amount of $286,185.83. Certificate of Compliance with Local Rule 12.07(A) provided to attorney for defendant. (Probation/Pretrial Officer: present) (Court Reporter:Linda Nichols, Linda_Nichols@moed.uscourts.gov, 314-244-7983) (proceedings started: 11:06 am) (proceedings ended: 12:48 pm)(Deputy Clerk: H. Aubuchon) (Defendant Location: Bond)(Appearance for Government: Tracy Berry)(Appearance for Defendant: David Bryant) (HMA) (Entered: 08/17/2023)