|News article about Dean Ziegler of Ziegler Chiropractic|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Dec. 17–An Allentown chiropractor faces up to nine years in prison after admitting this week to billing insurance companies for work he didn’t do and, in a separate case, attacking his girlfriend at his office-home.
Dean K. Ziegler, 49, pleaded guilty Wednesday to insurance fraud, a felony that carries up to seven years in prison, and simple assault, a misdemeanor that could send him to prison for up to two years.
In return for his plea in the insurance fraud case, more than a dozen similar charges were dropped. By pleading guilty to simple assault, he was able to have charges of reckless endangerment, harassment and two counts of aggravated assault dropped.
Under the terms of his plea, Ziegler could become eligible for parole after serving five months in jail, according to Lehigh County Senior Deputy District Attorney David Mussel.
Ziegler is scheduled to be sentenced next month by Judge Maria L. Dantos.
Ziegler, who has run a business out of his residence at 101 S. 14th St., was charged with insurance fraud in December 2010. He allegedly billed five insurance companies for more than $3,300 worth of exams in January and February 2009 — while he was in Lehigh County Prison for violating his parole in an unrelated case.
Acting on a tip, authorities said they investigated and determined Ziegler had billed the insurance companies for 10 appointments that never took place. He also allegedly submitted reimbursements for 12 manual therapy treatments, which cost more than the therapy that had actually been done, investigators said.
He was charged with assaulting his girlfriend at his home/office in September. Police said he punched 34-year-old Jill Aleene Bartholf, broke her nose with a kick and threw her down a flight of steps.
According to police:
When officers arrived at 3:40 a.m.Sept. 20, they found blood in front of the house, blood on the first and second floors and Bartholf sitting on a couch, bruised and bleeding from her nose.
Ziegler fled in his car before officers showed up and was arrested later. Bartholf was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
She is in Texas recovering, Mussel said.