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New York Scientologist chiropractor pleads guilty in $80 million Medicare scam

[Jay Spina]

Chiropractor James “Jay” Spina of Middletown, New York entered a guilty plea last week in an $80 million Medicare scam we told you about in September.

Spina initially filed a not guilty plea when the indictment was first announced, and his attorney told a local newspaper “we’re going to continue to fight these charges” as Spina’s business, renamed “Pain Relief and Wellness Center,” remained open.

But now Spina, 61, joins a physician caught up in the scam, Charles Bagley, who previously pleaded guilty to the same charge, conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years, and Spina’s sentencing has been scheduled for September 17.

Also charged in the case were Spina’s younger brother, Jeffrey Spina, as well as two employees at their chiropractic clinic — bookkeeper Andrea Grossman, 59, and Jeffrey and Jay’s sister Kim Spina, 54 — who all entered not guilty pleas.

Jay and Jeffrey Spina are longtime Scientologists and big supporters of the Scientology front group Foundation for a Drug-Free World, which we’ve told you for years spends its time infiltrating New York City schools with the help of the NYPD.


The Spina brothers have worked as chiropractors in Middletown, New York for many years. They called their clinic Spina Chiropractic — which was listed as a World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) business in 1999 — then Dolson Avenue Medical until it was raided in 2017 by the FBI and changed its name to Pain Relief and Wellness Center.

WISE is a Scientology front organization that targets chiropractors, dentists, and veterinarians with L. Ron Hubbard’s business administration ideas as a way to bring them into the church itself.

According to Scientology’s own publications, Jay Spina went “Clear” in 1990, did the expensive L10-L12 Rundowns at the Flag Land Base in 1990-91, finished OT 7 in 2003, and completed the “Havingness Rundown” in 2017. His brother Jeffrey went Clear in 1990, did the L’s in 1990-91, OT 3 in 1994, and the Purification Rundown (again) in 2017.

In 2010 Jay Spina was listed as a “Patron With Honors” donor for having given the church a total of at least $100,000. He was also listed as a $35,000 donor to Scientology’s “Super Power” Building project.

In other words, the Spina brothers are about as involved in Scientology as you can get, and have been for many, many years.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, the Spinas conspired to overcharge Medicare through the use of their clinic, Dolson Avenue Medical (DAM), and several other “Associated Businesses” that they controlled.

[The Spina brothers] went to great lengths to conceal their control and ownership of DAM and the Associated Businesses. In particular, JAMES SPINA and JEFFREY SPINA recruited medical doctors and other professionals to serve as the nominee owners of DAM and the Associated Businesses. JAMES SPINA and JEFFREY SPINA further concealed their ownership of DAM and the Associated Businesses by transferring revenues of these companies into other companies they owned. To further disguise these transfers, JAMES SPINA and JEFFREY SPINA drafted fake lease and marketing agreements between DAM and the Associated Businesses and purported real estate and marketing companies they owned and referred to the payments as “rent” or “marketing fees.” The defendants also used phony and non-existent addresses for the corporations so that it would appear that DAM and the Associated Businesses were operating out of separate locations.

Investigating the alleged scam drew on the resources of several different federal and state agencies. “An alleged theft of this magnitude is appalling when so many hard-working people experience rising health care costs. Now, their alleged scams have been exposed, thanks to my partnership with U.S. Attorney Berman, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli when the indictment was announced last year.

Rod Keller has pointed out that Scientology has only increased its support for chiropractic recently as it denigrates the American Medical Association.


HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

THURSDAY NIGHT OPPORTUNITY: This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. But we also want to point out that Cathy Schenkelberg’s “Squeeze My Cans” will be running at the Hollywood Fringe, and we encourage HowdyCon attendees to see her show on Thursday night, June 20. Tickets and more dates available here.

Friday night June 21 we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Witness to Dianetics: For the first time, the letters of key Hubbard ally Donald H. Rogers
[TWO years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s Int Base and its hilltop camouflaged ‘Eagle’s Nest’
[THREE years ago] Giant certificates and other weirdness from Scientology in our weekly online review
[FOUR years ago] A voice from inside the Church of Scientology: Yes, the ‘Survival Rundown’ drives you insane
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Spokesman Gives Non-Answers on CNN


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,440 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,569 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,073 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,553 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 613 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 504 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,811 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,679 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,453 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,227 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,573 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,139 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,059 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,226 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,807 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,068 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,107 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,819 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,345 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,434 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,574 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,894 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,750 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,869 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,225 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,527 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,633 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,035 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,907 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,490 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,985 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,239 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,348 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 8, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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