By Jennifer Kay
A Florida chiropractor allegedly paid for Netflix, a gym membership, and other personal expenses with the more than $200,000 in small business loans he received from federal Covid-19 funding, the Justice Department said.
Dennis Nobbe, 63, of Miami, made his initial court appearance Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on charges of wire fraud, health-care fraud, conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and wire fraud, and making false statements to a financial institution, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Nobbe transferred the money he obtained from the Paycheck Protection Program, which authorized small business loans under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, through shell companies to pay for entertainment streaming services, airfare, and a vacation resort, among other expenses, according to the complaint.
He also paid bribes and kickbacks to two South Florida physicians to open accounts for him with a credit card program offered by banks to finance out-of-pocket health-care expenses. He was banned from the program in 2010 due to the “risky” nature of his business, the DOJ alleged.
Nobbe encouraged his patients at Dynamic Medical Services Inc., many of whom were low-income and didn’t speak English, to use that program to pay for thousands of dollars of services that often were never performed, the agency said.
The scheme started in 2017, five years after the Florida Department of Health disciplined Nobbe for exploiting a patient for financial gain, and continued through September 2019, according to the complaint.
Nobbe was also accused of paying bribes and kickbacks to one of the doctors to submit fraudulent Medicare claims on his behalf. Medicare paid about $515,000 on those claims, the complaint said.
No attorney was listed for Nobbe in court records on Wednesday afternoon.
The case is USA v. Nobbe, S.D. Fla., No. 1:20-mj-03236, complaint 7/23/20.