Two north suburban chiropractors used an ad for a receptionist to make sales pitches to about 90 people brought in for "interviews," a lawsuit filed by county prosecutors claims.
Some of those applicants later purchased services from the doctors, who never hired a receptionist through the ad, according to the suit filed by the Cook County State’s Attorney. It claims the doctors violated the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The suit names Health Solutions Comprehensive Quality Care, and Drs. Michel Roy and Caroline Bergeron, owners and operators of the clinic at 5555 W. Touhy Ave. in Skokie. A statement from prosecutors claimed they used an employment ad for a receptionist to attract people to Dr. Roy’s "group interviews," which were actually sales presentations for chiropractic and wellness services.
According to prosecutors, in January and February of 2012, Roy and Bergeron placed an ad on Craigslist offering a receptionist position at $12-$16 per hour. More than 275 people responded and about 90 were invited to interviews.
The suit contends that within a four-week period, Roy conducted 14 group interviews, which consisted of a 60-to-90-minute presentation devoted to soliciting chiropractic and wellness services. No job offer was ever made to any of the applicants, prosecutors claim.
The suit further alleges that after each presentation, the doctors distributed gift certificates for complimentary wellness screenings to job candidates and encouraged them to redeem the gift certificates within a 30-day expiration period. Roy and Bergeron also obtained personal medical histories and personal identifying information from the applications, the statement said.
Sometime later, the defendants contacted the candidates by phone and solicited them again for complimentary screenings, according to the suit. Some of the candidates redeemed the gift certificates and later purchased various chiropractic and wellness services from Health Solutions.
Roy and Bergeron never conducted subsequent interviews of any of the candidates and did not hire a receptionist recruited through the ads, the suit claims. And they never informed the applicants whether the position had been filled, withdrawn or otherwise terminated.
The suit seeks a permanent injunction barring the defendants from engaging in further deceptive practices, and asks for a $50,000 fine from each defendant, as well as refunds for applicants who purchased chiropractic services.