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Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – November 28, 2013
Pot Dispensary Disguised As Vitamin Store Shut Down For Fraud (CA) – Billy Kim, the owner of Natural Health & Solutions, has pled guilty to submitting fraudulent government documents, workers’ compensation fraud, and unemployment insurance fraud. Kim filed an application to operate a vitamin and minerals retail store and stated that he would not sell marijuana. During the execution of a search warrant, Kim was found to be selling marijuana and related paraphernalia for profit instead of vitamins and minerals. Kim also claimed that he had volunteers instead of employees at his business, but those persons were found to be paid employees who were not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Read more
Coach Sets Bad Example By Double-Dipping (TX) – Terrance Hopkins has been ordered to pay $3,673 in restitution as a result of his conviction on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. Hopkins reported a job-related injury while working as a teacher for Bayes Achievement Center, but while collecting income benefits, he continued to work as a junior college coach. Read more
Trucking Company President Pleads Guilty To Not Obtaining Insurance (IL) – John Linek, the President of trucking firm SMS Logistics, has pled guilty to a Class 4 felony for refusing to obtain workers' compensation insurance and has been ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty. Read more
Injured Worker Was Out Collecting Bad Checks While Receiving Temporary Total Disability (OH) – Ghassan Awad has pled guilty to workers’ comp fraud and repaid the $6,897.87 in workplace injury benefits that he collected illegally. Awad received wages from Rabi Inc., working as a bad check collector, while he was also receiving temporary total disability compensation for a prior workplace injury. Read more
Restaurant Owner Underpaid Employees While Telling Them That Investigators Were Immigration Officers (CA) –Ji Li Zheng, the owner of the Century Buffet restaurant, has been charged with 16 felony and misdemeanor counts alleging payroll tax fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, failure to pay the State-mandated minimum wage and overtime premium, and dissuading a witness. Zheng claimed that he had only 6 to 12 employees, while he actually employed 60 people, including many immigrants. State and county investigators interviewed 19 victims in Spanish and Mandarin. The victims revealed that they worked 12 to13 hour shifts six days a week without rest or meal breaks. Most employees stated that they received monthly cash payments directly from Zheng. Some stated that their only wages came from customer tips or they were never paid at all. The employees claimed Zheng misled them to believe the investigators were Immigration Officers. The owner advised his employees not to talk to anyone about how much they worked, how much they were paid, and to flee immediately. Read more
Businessman Pleads Guilty To Role In Huge Fraud And Tax Case (TX) – Charles Pircher has pled guilty to a Klein tax fraud conspiracy charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge. Pircher managed a series of Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) based in San Antonio, including Service Professionals, which entered into staff leasing agreements with various client companies to manage their payroll and insurance programs. By pleading guilty, Pircher admitted that he and other co-conspirators stole more than $133 Million directly from their client companies’ programs. 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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