PDA

View Full Version : Copes - STRS



LindaRacine
11-19-2003, 03:25 PM
From The Advocate:

By PENNY BROWN ROBERTS

Advocate staff writer

A federal bankruptcy judge is scrutinizing the medical credentials of a local man who regularly conducts scoliosis screenings in Louisiana schools and treats patients with the condition from all over the world.
Along with a plan for repaying creditors, Arthur Copes -- who runs the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System at 8108 Picardy Ave. and another clinic in San Diego -- submitted a detailed résumé Friday to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Douglas D. Dodd told creditors attending the hearing that the information would help determine whether a reorganization plan is feasible.

"My interest in his education is only whether or not it bears on his ability to carry this company forward and pay its creditors," Dodd said, adding that if a question over licensing arose that "might affect his ability to keep this company running, that would be a concern."

Copes blames the bankruptcy court's review of his credentials on "disgruntled former employees" seeking back wages who are "just trying to stir up havoc."

This isn't the first time the 46-year-old Copes' credentials will be examined under a microscope.

In 1997, Copes unsuccessfully sued in state court in Baton Rouge a Missouri chiropractor named Ray Vasquez who publicly questioned Copes' credentials as a doctor. A judge dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Among other things, Vasquez questioned Copes' degree from Columbia Pacific University, and claims of being a medical doctor with a license to practice.

Copes -- who uses the title of doctor -- completed both a bachelor of science degree and a doctorate of philosophy degree in orthotics via correspondence courses in a single year from Columbia Pacific University in Mill Valley, Calif., according to the résumé filed in bankruptcy court.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs permanently shut down the correspondence school in March 2001 after a two-year investigation discovered the institution was a "diploma mill" and a "giant scam," according to investigators.

A review of school operations found that faculty members who sat on students' doctoral committees did not have degrees related to the field of investigation. In one case, four of the five members of one committee signing off on a student's Spanish-language doctoral dissertation could not speak Spanish, according to an Associated Press article.

At the time Copes earned his degree, Columbia Pacific University was approved to operate in California.

"I developed a procedure to correct scoliosis without surgery," Copes said in a telephone interview Friday. "Do you think surgeons like me? They'll use anything to discredit you."

Copes -- who identifies himself as an orthotist -- does not hold a license from the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners or the Louisiana Board of Chiropractic Examiners. An orthotist is a specialist who makes and fits braces and splints for patients who need support for body parts weakened by injury or disease.

Copes apparently told the International Chiropractors Association that he has "a number of state licenses," including one in Louisiana, according to Ronald Hendrickson, executive director of the Virginia-based group.

Copes has lectured at a number of the organization's conferences.

"People just don't say they have a license if they don't have one," Hendrickson said. "You can get in trouble for that. Our organization has zero tolerance for it."

Copes said that as an orthotist, he is not required to have a license, but that he has taken a "federal test" administered by the American Orthotics & Prosthetics Association. Representatives from that organization could not be reached Friday.

Copes said he is not a member of the International Chiropractors Association but has been "a frequent guest speaker, and at one time did post-graduate teaching at a very large university: the Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas, Texas."

Copes opened the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System more than a decade ago. By his own count, he has treated more than 4,000 patients and provided scoliosis screenings in public schools throughout south Louisiana.

He is known internationally for developing the Copes Dynamic Brace, a pneumatic device to correct spinal curvature in scoliosis patients. His clinic also prescribes vitamin supplements -- which it sells on its Web site -- to treat the disease.

At least three former patients have sued Copes in the past three years, claiming his treatments injured them. They also questioned whether he has the proper training and licensing.

Michelle McManigal of Madison Heights, Mich., filed suit in federal court in Baton Rouge in April 2002, alleging the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System worsened the condition of her son, Brandon Weiss. U.S. District Judge James Brady dismissed the suit in February because Copes had filed for bankruptcy.

In a September 2002 status report to the court, her Baton Rouge attorney, Todd Slack, wrote that one of the principal legal issues was "whether Arthur Copes, PhD, engaged in the practice of medicine without a license."

Darnelle Delcambre of New Iberia also has a suit pending in state court in Baton Rouge, claiming that she developed severe osteoporosis after wearing a brace for 16 hours a day for years as Copes prescribed.

An orthopedic surgeon told her the treatment was "grossly inappropriate," "harmful" and may have "caused the osteoporosis," according to her suit.

And in an October 2002 suit, Louis W. Herthum contends the "promises as to the quality of the treatment were not in fact true."

Copes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 11, claiming assets of $50,000 or less and debts of more than $1 million.

According to a list of his 20 largest creditors, Copes owes more than $173,273 to the Internal Revenue Service, $93,577 to Wells Fargo Financial Leasing for computer equipment, $80,000 to a Los Angeles company for building rent, and $11,464 to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, among other debts.

An update Copes provided to the bankruptcy court in July indicates his business is once again thriving, thanks to "new marketing strategies."

He cites 27 new patients and net monthly profits of $7,300.

"We're doing very well now and are a little ahead of schedule at this point," Copes said Friday. "Thanks to the courts, we've been given a little time to catch our breath and move forward with business."

sjmcphee
10-14-2011, 03:51 AM
In 2008, Arthur L. Copes, who owned and operated the Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for many years, was found guilty of 8 counts of insurance fraud [1]. Copes purports to have developed a back brace and treatment system that he claims is effective against scoliosis. Experts who have looked at what he does do not believe that this is true. Copes has also misrepresented his credentials.

In 2006, Copes was charged with 117 counts of insurance fraud for his alleged involvement in a medical billing insurance scam and for practicing medicine without a license. Attorney General Special Agents who investigated his activities alleged:

Even though Copes performed all of the treatment, he submitted numerous bills to insurance companies using the names and signatures of licensed chiropractors, without their knowledge and in many cases long after they had left the clinic.
Patients were charged a large sum of money, up to $10,000 in one case, and advised that their insurance company would cover a certain percentage of the cost of the treatment. The insurance companies were fraudulently billed more than $138,000 [2].
The trial at which Copes was convicted involved only his billings to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. In January 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $88,000 to Blue Cross Blue Shield and a total of $100,000 to several former clients. During the sentencing hearing, the judge said to Copes:

I am deeply concerned that you have not taken responsibility or shown any remorse for your actions. I will not allow you to continue to present yourself as a doctor and possibly harm even one person because you are not trained and skilled in the areas in which you lead people to believe [3].

Copes appealed. In December 2009, after reviewing the trial testimony in detail, the Louisiana Court of Appeal upheld his conviction but ordered the trial judge to reconsider the sentence. In February 2010, the trial judge reset the restitution total at $162,279, which included $47,000 to the Louisiana Department of Justice for investigation and prosecution costs and $4,600 to the National White Collar Crime Center.

I want to know whats happening with this guy.
I have a reason but really don't want to explain why.
I wan't to know is he's bankrupt.
Is he in Jail? - Anyone know?

rohrer01
11-07-2011, 11:14 AM
From The Advocate:

By PENNY BROWN ROBERTS


Copes apparently told the International Chiropractors Association that he has "a number of state licenses," including one in Louisiana, according to Ronald Hendrickson, executive director of the Virginia-based group.

Copes has lectured at a number of the organization's conferences.

"People just don't say they have a license if they don't have one," Hendrickson said. "You can get in trouble for that. Our organization has zero tolerance for it."



And they believed him? I would say that this really discredits the International Chiropractors Association if they just take people's word for it that they have licensure. If, as this Hendrickson character says, they have zero tolerance, then don't you think they ought to be getting some proof of these claimed "credentials"? Wow, even those of us with only B.S. degrees have to submit certified copies of our transcripts to emloyers. This is just scary. How many Chiropractors are now integrating this mans techniques into their practices because they attended one or more of his many lectures? Just incredible!

LindaRacine
11-07-2011, 03:40 PM
I've seen a copy of Copes' "CV". He used to have it up on his website. Most of his training came from a correspondence course from a "university" that has since been shut down by authorities.

rohrer01
11-07-2011, 04:38 PM
Yeah, I saw that. He got a bachelor's degree and a PhD all in one year. That's 10 years of schooling crammed into one. There's NO way he could have had any quality education. I'm glad they shut that "school" down! What a sham!

jrnyc
11-07-2011, 04:42 PM
a correspondence course??!!! did anyone actually accept it?
outrageous!

a little bit like a former schools chancellor of NYC public schools who had a PHD from a correspondence school...
it was a joke to the teachers & other faculty who had real degrees!

jess

sjmcphee
11-07-2011, 09:22 PM
Hi All,

I think that he used to run the STRS - Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System before he got busted ripping off the insurance companies.
I think that there is another form of his system getting around now called STARS Scoliosis Treatment Advanced Recovery System.
Maybe this is what you are all talking about.
I'm not sure how much this system relates to his original methods, nor how much he has had to do with it.
I really know nothing more other than what I previously posted.

My reason for bringing up Arthur Copes after all these years is more to do with what he still owns as listed here. Info (http://www.who.is/website-information/scoliosis.com/)

It is a concern for all of us that he still owns this, and I want it.

Scott

rohrer01
11-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Hi All,

I think that he used to run the STRS - Scoliosis Treatment Recovery System before he got busted ripping off the insurance companies.
I think that there is another form of his system getting around now called STARS Scoliosis Treatment Advanced Recovery System.
Maybe this is what you are all talking about.
I'm not sure how much this system relates to his original methods, nor how much he has had to do with it.
I really know nothing more other than what I previously posted.

My reason for bringing up Arthur Copes after all these years is more to do with what he still owns as listed here. Info (http://www.who.is/website-information/scoliosis.com/)

It is a concern for all of us that he still owns this, and I want it.

Scott

I'm not sure from that link what you are talking about. What does he own that you want?

LindaRacine
11-11-2011, 12:31 PM
He wants the URL.

rohrer01
11-11-2011, 04:59 PM
He wants the URL.

Oh, I didn't realize he owned that, since he is mentioned so little in it. Too bad.

sjmcphee
11-14-2011, 10:13 AM
Yeah that's right the URL.
I doubt it would come cheap, and also for some reason I doubt he'd want to part with it.
I'm sure others have enquired about it as well.
In any case, I can't make contact with anyone listed on the who.is info. so I can't contact him to make a formal offer for it.
- Scott

rohrer01
11-14-2011, 12:21 PM
You would "think" that since he was found to be a fraud, that someone in power, be it the courts or a medical review board or someone, would make him give it up, or at the very least take his information off of it. It's sad because there might be some legitimate docs on there that would get their good names tainted, OR he might be listing a bunch of other quacks! You are right that is scary.