Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – October 24, 2013
Father and Daughter Paid Employees In Cash To Avoid Workers’ Compensation Insurance (CA) – Jeffrey Thranow, the owner of Costa Bella Builders, has been convicted of workers' compensation insurance premium fraud for failing to report employees to his insurance carrier. Thranow's daughter, Kathleen Castelli, was convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud, and her husband, Vittorio Castelli, was convicted of felony insurance fraud. Thranow paid his employees in cash in an attempt to avoid paying workers' compensation insurance, and his daughter and son-in-law colluded to convince employees to accept these cash payroll payments. The fraud was discovered after an employee was injured and required surgery. Read more
Insurance Agent Assisted Foreign Businessman In Fraudulently Misclassifying Its Employees (MT) – Sandra Armstrong, the owner of a Colorado tax and insurance business, has pled guilty to felony Accountability to Employer Misconduct for her role in assisting an employer in avoiding paying Montana Workers’ Compensation premiums. Armstrong assisted her client, Efrain Cruz, a contractor from Mexico, in illegally classifying his employees as independent contractors. The crime came to light when one of Cruz’s employees fell from a second-story truss while working on a single-family home construction site. The injured employee, a Mexican citizen who was working and living illegally in the United States, sustained serious head injuries. Read more
Spinal Implant Company CEO Pleads No Contest to Fraud (CA) – Trudy Maurer, the CEO of Implantium, has pled no contest to insurance fraud for overcharging city and county employers for the costs of surgery spinal implant devices that Implantium sold for workers’ compensation claims. Maurer paid restitution of $130,000 for altering and inflating invoices for the surgery implant devices by falsely stating the price that Implantium paid to manufacturers. Read more
Civilian Employee of Sheriff and Husband Headed To Jail For Workers' Comp Fraud (CA) - Keri Atwood, a former records division employee of the Ventura County Sheriff, has been sentenced to 150 days in the county jail and ordered to pay restitution of $18,319 as a result of a guilty plea to workers’ compensation fraud. Her husband, Michael Atwood, has been sentenced to 60 days in the county jail for conspiracy for assisting her fraud. Keri Atwood was placed on disability when she sustained an injury to her left ankle after an employee ran into the back of her foot with a mail cart. She used crutches and a wheelchair to get to her medical appointments, but she was able to walk unaided after her appointments. Read more
Fugitive Missed Her Arraignment Because Her Mailbox Was Filled With Junk Mail (OH) – Rita Lynch has been arrested after she failed to appear for her arraignment on charges of workers’ compensation fraud and theft. When contact was made with Lynch by cell phone after she missed her arraignment, she said that she had accumulated a lot of junk in her mailbox and thrown everything away, including possibly her court date notice. She then failed to turn herself into the local police department as she told her attorney she would do, and she was located and taken into custody by sheriff deputies. 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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