Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – November 21, 2013
Owner of Spanish-Language Interpreting Business Used Fraudulent Billing Scheme (WA) – Philip Ward, the owner of a Spanish-language interpreting business, has pled guilty to three counts of first-degree theft in a scheme that netted them more than $600,000 in illegal profits. Ward’s wife, Kitzia Huerta, had earlier pled guilty to one count of first-degree theft. Their business, Hispanic Voices, employed dozens of interpreters who provided Spanish-language interpretation for injured workers at medical and vocational appointments related to workers’ compensation claims. The couple admitted to fraudulently billing the Washington Department of Labor & Industries for services that never occurred and inflating bills for services that did occur. Read more
Doctor Loses License After Claiming To Treat Workers’ Compensation Claimants While He Was Hospitalized (OH) – Dr. Timothy Smith has entered a Pretrial Diversion Program after he was found to be billing for workers’ compensation services that were not rendered. While Dr. Smith was himself hospitalized, he claimed to have personally treated twenty-seven injured workers. He falsified medical treatment notes and billing forms in order to be paid for these non-existent medical services. In addition to his criminal penalties, Dr. Smith permanently surrendered his license to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery to the Ohio State Medical Board. Read more
Contractor’s Interlocking Companies All Allowed Insurance Coverage To Lapse (OH) – Christopher Fay, the owner of Full Scope Construction, has pled guilty to operating Full Scope without workers' compensation insurance coverage. Christopher Fay had previously owned CDAF LLC, which he had also operated without workers’ compensation coverage, and CDAF had hired and leased several employees to Douglas Fay Construction, his brother's construction business, which also had lapsed coverage. Christopher Fay told investigators that his workers were subcontractors, but bank records rebutted this argument. Read more
Brother Submits Workers’ Compensation Claim Against His Brother’s Lapsed Coverage (OH) – Ross Bittner, who co-owned Bittner Construction with his brother, Todd Bittner, filed an injury claim and submitted wages from Bittner Construction on a workers’’ compensation policy that Todd Bittner had allowed to lapse. Investigators had tried in two different investigations to convince Todd Bittner to become compliant and pay the premiums due to reinstate his workers’ compensation coverage, but Todd failed to pay the related premiums or enter into a payment plan. As a result, Todd Bittner pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud for operating Bittner Construction without coverage. Read more
Dump Truck Driver Avoids Prison After Paying $19,000 In Restitution (OH) – Harry Livingston has paid restitution of $19,000 and has received a suspended sentence of six months in jail for working while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Investigators received a tip that Livingston was driving a dump truck while disabled. Investigators observed Livingston driving a dump truck to and from job sites. They also confirmed that he worked as a dump truck driver from May to November 2012 while receiving the temporary total benefits. Read more
Claimant Used Multiple Doctors and Pharmacies To Get More Drugs (OH) – Mary Martin has pled guilty to one count of workers' compensation fraud for deception to obtain dangerous drugs. Martin received narcotic prescriptions from multiple physicians during overlapping periods and filled those prescriptions at multiple pharmacies as a way to conceal her drug-seeking behavior. Read more
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.
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