Former Utica chiropractor pleads guilty to faking medical exams

Published Nov 6, 2018 at 4:00pm

A former Utica chiropractor pleaded guilty in City Court to faking medical examinations in order to help Central New York Psychiatric Center employees get time off for nonexistent injuries.

Eric Szatko, 47, of Sauquoit, pleaded guilty in Utica City Court on Monday to second-degree falsifying business records, the state Inspector General’s Office said. Szatko has agreed to surrender his license to practice as a chiropractor and must pay nearly $5,000 in restitution.

Authorities said Szatko used to run a chiropractic office in Utica in early 2016, and he lied about treating three separate Psych Center employees. Authorities said Szatko was an authorized medical provider with the state Workers’ Compensation system, and he submitted fraudulent medical progress reports claiming he had examined and treated at least three employees on several occasions in early 2016.

Authorities said those examinations and treatments never occurred. Szatko was also billing for those nonexistent medical services. One of the employees was Ryan Haley, 30, of Rome, who unlawfully received more than $2,500 in benefits, authorities said. Haley claimed he could not work due to a back injury and was given paid time off, which authorities said he spent on a trip to California with his girlfriend, and another trip kayaking in Puerto Rico. ​Haley later pleaded guilty to fraud, paid restitution and resigned from his position, authorities said.