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New Jersey Chiropractor Admits To Destroying Evidence During Billing Fraud Probe

(Credit: CBS 2)

(Credit: CBS 2)

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A northwestern New Jersey chiropractor admitted Wednesday to destroying patient appointment records sought by federal agents investigating potential billing fraud at her medical office, federal prosecutors said.

Mary Jean Negri, 57, of Lafayette, New Jersey, pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstructing an investigation of a health care offense. She faces five years in prison at a sentencing hearing set for Sept. 29.

Prosecutors said Negri, a licensed chiropractor and registered nurse in New Jersey, has owned the Lafayette Hilltop Chiropractic Center for 24 years. In May 2012, she discovered the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were investigating the business for potentially fraudulent billing practices.

Negri suspected investigators were interested in obtaining the center’s patient appointment books as evidence of potential fraud. In an effort to obstruct the government’s investigation, she discarded those books.

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