West Jordan • It was advertised as a free gourmet dinner, where potential patients could learn about a chiropractor’s "diabetes breakthrough."
But it was at their next meeting — another "free" consultation — that 10 elderly people claim West Jordan chiropractor Brandon Babcock deceived them, either by signing them up for credit without their consent or refusing to refund their money after telling them they could opt-out of the program within 30 days.
"We would argue that this was a scheme Dr. Babcock conducted on all these people," Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Robert Neill said Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for Babcock.
Babcock has been charged in 3rd District Court with 10 counts of exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony, along with communications fraud, a second-degree felony. Judge Mark Kouris found there was probable cause for the 37-year-old chiropractor to stand trial on all 11 charges.
He is to appear in court again on March 19.
During an October portion of the preliminary hearing, eight of Babcock’s alleged victims testified.
On Tuesday, Neill submitted written statements from the other two victims and also called Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing investigator Dan Briggs to the stand.
Briggs testified that all of the alleged victims — who ranged in age from 61 to 84 — told him that Babcock never disclosed that he was a chiropractor, that they were eventually charged for what was advertised as a "free" consultation, and that they were tricked into or had unknowingly signed papers taking out a line of credit with Chase Health Advance.
"I think that’s abuse of a vulnerable adult," Briggs said.
Several of the victims were not allowed to cancel the credit line because it was in Babcock’s name, Briggs said.
Chase Health Advance employees told Briggs that they eventually repaid nearly half a million dollars to people who claimed they were bilked by Babcock, Briggs testified.
West Jordan City revoked Babcock’s business license in August 2012, after the chiropractor was formally charged. According to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Babcock’s chiropractic license has been suspended.
Babcock has done business under various names, including "The Integrated Health Center of Utah" and "Functional Endocrinology Institute of Utah." His business was located at 9265 S. Redwood Road.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.