Each week we'll be surveying what the media, state agencies, insurance companies, and others report in terms of workers' comp fraud. Just like a police blotter, our workers' comp fraud blotter lists recent arrests, charges, convictions and investigations.
Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter - February 7, 2013
Owner of Swimming Pooling Maintenance Company Charged With Classifying Employees As Independent Contractors (CA) - Michael Gregory Silverberg, the owner of United States Pools, a swimming pool construction and maintenance company, has been charged with embezzlement and workers' compensation fraud. Silverberg is alleged to have improperly classified his swimming pool employees as independent contractors so that he could evade paying workers' compensation insurance and payroll taxes. Read more
Chain-Reaction Truck Crash Kills Employee, Leads To Fraud Conviction For Employer (OH) - Steve Nesser of Nesser Roofing has pled no contest to felony workers' compensation fraud for failing to pay the required workers' compensation premiums and has been sentenced to five weekends in jail. The lack of workers' compensation insurance was discovered after an employee was killed in a chain-reaction traffic accident and the family of the employee filed for death benefits. Nesser initially claimed that the deceased employee and the firm's other employees were all subcontractors. Read more
Real Estate Investor Lied About Doing Home Remodeling Without Any Employees (CA) - Jose Gonzalez has pled guilty to not obtaining workers' compensation insurance and contracting without a license. Gonzalez would purchase houses at auction that he would then remodel and sell. His building permits stated that he was doing all of the remodeling himself as the owner, but he actually used employees for some of the work. He did not carry workers' compensation insurance for the employees and also failed to deduct payroll taxes from their paychecks. Read more
Daughter Heading to Jail Instead Of College for Lying to Get Dad's Death Benefits (WA) - Heather Payne has been sentenced to four-and-a-half months in jail for stealing more than $30,000 in workers' compensation benefits. When her father died in 2001, he was receiving a disability pension due to a workplace injury that had left him permanently disabled, and Payne was awarded survivor benefits because she was a minor. She was entitled to receive those benefits after age 18 if she was a full-time student, but in 2010 it was discovered that she forged the signature of a school official in paperwork where she stated that she was still in school, although she had dropped out of college earlier in the year. Read more
Disability Did Not Stop Tow Truck Driver From Picking Up Cars (OH) - Luis Toro has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and must pay almost $20,000 in restitution if he wants to avoid going to jail. While Toro was receiving temporary total disability benefits for a workplace injury, he was found to be working as a self-employed tow truck driver. Read more
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