Callison Tighe trial lawyer Ian T. Duggan part of defense team that secures acquittal in federal healthcare fraud case

Callison Tighe attorney Ian Duggan joined two other Columbia attorneys in securing acquittals for two doctors accused of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

On Thursday, August 23, 2018, a federal jury returned “not guilty” verdicts against Dr. John Pienkos II and Dr. Alexander Tomovski. The Conway, SC, chiropractors were charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud by the United States Attorney’s office in South Carolina on November 28, 2017. In addition to Duggan, Mark C. Moore of Nexsen Pruet represented Dr. Tomovski and Deborah B. Barbier represented Dr. Pienkos.

After an eight-day trial before the Honorable R. Bryan Harwell, the jury deliberated almost nine hours before reaching a verdict in U.S. District Court in Florence. It was a rare defeat for the government. According to The State newspaper, the case was one of the few the U.S. Attorney’s office in Columbia has lost in recent years.

‘Innocent until proven guilty’

“This case is a great reminder that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty,” Duggan said. “We’re pleased that justice was done in this case and that the doctors now are able to begin the process of recovering from the emotional and financial toll these charges inflicted.”

The Conway chiropractors were accused of conspiring over a span of approximately four years to defraud BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina by seeing patients for unnecessary services and billing the insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars for their care. The charges came after a federal investigation that began in 2012.

More than 30 witnesses testified during the eight-day trial, including the doctors, their employees and patients. The evidence included extensive billing and patient records.

“As thrilled as we are that the jury has vindicated these men, they suffered tremendously during this process,” Duggan said. “They appreciate the loyal family, friends and patients who stood by them throughout the ordeal.”

About Ian Duggan

An experienced trial lawyer, Duggan has brought more than 40 cases to verdict. He represents clients in all levels of state and federal courts in South Carolina and before military courts-martial. Before joining Callison Tighe in 2017, Duggan served as an officer and senior trial attorney in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His practice centers on representing individuals, companies, and organizations in litigation and complex criminal defense matters.

Disclaimer: This case is intended only to be representative of Mr. Duggan’s practice.  Mr. Duggan is solely responsible for this content. This example is not intended to, and cannot be relied upon, to predict the results in any other case.