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Northwest Minnesota chiropractor indicted for insurance fraud, identity theft

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- Federal prosecutors have accused a Thief River Falls chiropractor of defrauding more than $1 million from insurance companies.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced Wednesday, Aug. 1, it would prosecute Steven Richard Wiseth, 35, on six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

It is estimated Wiseth billed insurance companies more than $3.1 million in a two-year scheme, including “hundreds of treatments that were not provided or were overbilled,” the release said. Prosecutors said he received more than $1.1 million from insurance companies because of the scheme.

Wiseth used promotional events in which he gave away free food, drinks, prizes and gift certificates, according to the allegations. He then billed insurance companies for providing chiropractic services to those who attended the events, unbeknownst to attendees.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office described “ValenSpine’s Day,” an event in which Wiseth allegedly provided 641 services to 219 patients, according to the release.

He also submitted false bills and misrepresented services provided to patients, according to the allegations.

Wiseth appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul and has surrendered his Minnesota chiropractic license, according to a news release.

April Baumgarten
April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, as the news editor. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college,  she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.