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West Jordan chiropractor convicted of conning elderly

Published October 4, 2013 7:26 am

Courts • Brandon Babcock could face 30 years in prison.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It took a jury less than an hour and a half to convict a West Jordan chiropractor of conning several elderly patients out of hundreds and thousands of dollars with a scheme that promised to rid the patients of chronic ailments, thyroid problems and diabetes.

A jury convicted Brandon Babcock of six counts of exploiting a vulnerable adult. He was acquitted of four identical charges. That means that Babcock, 38, could face a total of up to 30 years in prison for committing the third-degree felonies.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

Several of Babcock's former patients — who ranged in age from 61 to 84 — testified at the chiropractor's five-day trial.

Their testimony all followed a similar story line: They were suffering and desperate, they said. They thought Babcock could help.

"When you're old and you're poor and you're desperate, you'll do anything if you think it might help," Elsie Breault, 77, testified last week. "I saw [Babcock's] ad on television. It said he could stop diabetes. That he would talk things over with you and it would be free."

According to charging documents, potential patients were initially treated to a free gourmet dinner where they were shown video testimonials and given information about the chiropractor's "diabetes breakthrough."

When they expressed interest in the program, some said, Babcock and his staff duped them into signing up for credit without their knowledge or consent. Others said Babcock refused to refund their money despite a 30-day opt-out guarantee and a promise for 100 percent satisfaction.

What was pitched as a "free consultation" wound up costing these patients hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Throughout their testimony, victims referred to Babcock as "the doctor." Several told police they were never made aware of the fact that Babcock was, instead, a chiropractor.

The scheme hinged on tricking people into signing papers that established lines of credit with Chase Health Advance and then maxing out the $6,000 limit when patients tried to withdraw from Babcock's services, according to testimony.

The 8-person jury took one hour and 19 minutes to decide Babcock's fate.

Several of the former patients were not allowed to cancel the credit line because it was in Babcock's name, according Dan Briggs, an investigator with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).

Chase Health Advance employees told Briggs they eventually repaid nearly half a million dollars to people who claimed they were bilked by Babcock.

West Jordan City revoked Babcock's business license in August 2012 after he was formally charged, and according to DOPL, Babcock's chiropractic license has been suspended.

But that hasn't stopped Babcock from leading seminars throughout the country in hotels from Idaho to Florida, where he touts a nutritional program to reverse Type II diabetes. That's according to a report filed by police in Chandler, a suburb of Tempe, Ariz., who cited Babcock on May 18 for selling supplements without a city permit.

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.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Marissa_Jae