Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (6/19/2014) – Disabled Musician Played In Beatles Tribute Band While Collecting Disability

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (6/19/2014) – Disabled Musician Played In Beatles Tribute Band While Collecting Disability


Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – June 19, 2014

Disabled Musician Played In Beatles Tribute Band While Collecting Disability (OH) – After making restitution of $13,277.24, Ricky Gantz was fined $120 and ordered to pay court costs for workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. Investigators received a tip that Gantz was playing in a Beatles tribute band while receiving temporary total disability benefits. The investigation found that Gantz had sustained remunerative employment as a musician with John F. Gilbert III, DBA Abbey Road Band.   Read more

Former Town Selectwoman Sentenced To Prison for Extortion and Fraud (ME)Former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan has been sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for extortion for soliciting kickbacks from the contractor with the town’s plowing and road contracts, and for workers' compensation fraud for seeking disability benefits while claiming that she could not clean her house or even blow dry her own hair by herself, while she was secretly working for her husband’s construction company.   Read more

Cross Check Between State Agencies Catches Double-Dipper (OH) – Sean Merritt has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. An investigation was conducted after Merritt was identified as receiving employment wages that were reported to another state agency during a period he was receiving disability benefits. Merritt had returned to work at My Brother's Keeper, Therapeutic Home for Youth, Inc. as a caretaker while collecting temporary total disability from a work related injury.   Read more

Sales Manager Returned To Work While Still Receiving Temporary Total Disability (OH) – Tina Contini has been ordered to pay restitution of $4,496.34 after pleading guilty to workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. Contini returned to work as a sales manager at MT Business Technologies, Inc., an office equipment company, while she continued to collect temporary total disability benefits. The court ordered non-reporting probation that will be terminated upon payment of restitution in full.   Read more

Cage Dancer Convicted Of Welfare Fraud Loses Workers’ Compensation Claim (NY) – Terry Hares was not only ordered to pay restitution and serve five years on probation for welfare fraud and misuse of food stamps, she also lost her workers’ compensation claim. At her sentencing, her defense attorney argued that she was 60 percent disabled and needed workers’ compensation benefits to support her young son. But the prosecutor asserted that photographic evidence of her working as a cage dancer proved that she was not disabled, noting that she had demonstrated flexibility that even he did not have.   Read more

Disabled Employee Worked For Three Months As Independent Contractor (OH) – Tameka Hines has made restitution of $4,949.11 and will pay a fine of $250 for working while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Hines returned to work as an independent contractor for Hooper Holmes, performing physical examinations for life insurance policy applicants, while collecting temporary total disability.   Read more

Lack Of Pay Stubs Trips Up Fraudster (OH) – Randy Hartman has pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of workers' compensation fraud for submitting false wage statements. Hartman was not submitting pay stubs with his wage statements as required. The resulting investigation found that Hartman had submitted false wage loss statements in order to obtain living maintenance wage loss benefits. After Hartman was fired from the Downtown Sports Bar and Grill, he continued to submit 22 wage statements in order to conceal that he was no longer employed.   Read more

Paving Company Owners Thought Fraud Was Their Road Paved In Gold To Riches (CA) – The owners and operators of United Paving and Prestige Striping, Sabas Trujillo and Lucia Trujillo, who are married, and Sabas Trujillo’s brother, Rick Trujillo, as well as employees Laura Fitzpartick and Alex Trujillo, have been charged with wage theft, premium fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, and payroll fraud. They are alleged to have engaged in insurance premium fraud, paid workers less than the prevailing wages as agreed to in a contract, taken a portion of workers’ wages, prepared false documents for submission to a government agency, and denied an employee workers’ compensation benefits. It is alleged that these actions allowed them to illegally obtain about $4 million.   Read more

Woman Tried To Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits From Company That Refused To Hire Her (OH) – Although Valencia Daniels never worked for Friendly Transportation Services, she filed a workers’ compensation claim against the company, alleging that she was injured while working. Friendly Transportation Services acknowledged that Daniels had applied for employment with their company, but showed that she was never hired. Daniels was fined $150, with court costs waived.   Read more

Owner Of Diner Kept Writing Bad Checks For His Workers’ Compensation Coverage (OH) – Garry Frederick, the owner of the Topnotch Diner, has been convicted again of passing bad checks to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. He was first convicted in 2010, and then he later passed three more bad checks while his coverage was lapsed for non-payment of premiums.   Read more

Task Force Sweep Results In 60 Citations For Fraud and Licensing Violations At Residential Sites (CA) – A multi-agency task force led by the California Department of Insurance conducted a sweep at residential construction and remodeling sites across major metropolitan areas statewide and issued more than 60 citations for various violations and six work stop-orders. Violations found among the nearly 100 businesses contacted included no workers' compensation insurance by contractors and subcontractors, no valid contractor's license, and serious safety violations.   Read more

Owner Paid For Lapsed Coverage While In Court Awaiting Bench Trial (OH) – Joseph Garcia, the operator of A Expert Rooter Inc., was convicted of disorderly conduct after he was found to be operating his business with lapsed coverage. Garcia had failed to bring his workers’ compensation policy back into compliance after his payment was dishonored by the bank due to insufficient funds. Garcia was present in court for a bench trial and provided agents with money orders totaling the current balance due on his policy.   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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