Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – November 7, 2013
Bird Sanctuary Founder Arrested For Operating Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance (FL) – The operator of the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Ralph Heath, has been charged with running the sanctuary without workers’ compensation insurance and violating a stop work order. Heath claims that he was without insurance only for a short period of time after his carrier failed to warn him that the policy had lapsed. Read more
Former State Senator Indicted For Insurance Fraud (TN) – Eric Stewart, a former Tennessee state senator and county commissioner, has been charged with fraud and theft. Stewart allegedly sold a workers’ compensation insurance policy to Don and Bonnie Plattenburg, who own a contracting company, but he then used the premium proceeds they paid to him for his own personal use instead of forwarding it to the insurer. Read more
Sales Broker Convicted Of Workers’ Compensation Fraud (OH) – Richard Matt has pled guilty to working while receiving temporary total disability benefits following a workplace injury. A cross match with the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services indicated that Matt was receiving wages as a sales broker for Music Blast/Beverage Plus based in Las Vegas, NV. Company records then confirmed Matt was working during the period of time in which he was also receiving workplace injury benefits. Read more
Disabled Board of Education Groundskeeper Cut Trees and Grass For Catholic Diocese (CT) – Michael Garrison has been charged with perjury and workers’ compensation fraud for double-dipping. Garrison injured his knee and back in 2009 while working as a groundskeeper for the local board of education. But while he was receiving disability benefits, he allegedly was operating Garrison Landscaping and earned almost $40,000 doing landscaping work and tree removal for the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese, and more than $12,000 doing similar work for the Rosebud Village Condominiums. Read more
Felony Workers’ Compensation Fraud Charges Filed (NY) – Patrick Diello has been arrested on charges of offering a false instrument for filing, grand larceny, insurance fraud, fraudulent insurance practices, and fraudulent practices, all arising out of an alleged workers’ compensation fraud. Read more
Roofing Contractor Guilty of Workers’ Compensation Fraud (MT) – Contractor Jared Langley has pled no contest to charges that he underpaid workers’ compensation premiums for his roofing business. Langley lied about his roofing business, claiming that his employees only cleaned up construction sites. Investigators found that from 2007 to 2012, Langley obtained more than 370 roofing permits and purchased $1.3 million in roofing materials from a roofing supply business. Meanwhile, while Langley did not pay premiums for roofing work, Langley’s employees filed injury claims that were roofing related. Read more
Laborer Pleads Guilty To Double-Dipping (OH) – Eric Mariol has pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. Mariol was receiving living maintenance benefits and temporary total disability benefits when a cross match with the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services indicated that he was concurrently receiving wages. An investigation confirmed that Mariol was working as a laborer/helper for Brad Bonsky Sheet Metal and Miracle Solutions. Read more
Correctional Officer Charged With Three Felonies For Workers’ Comp Fraud (NY) – Steven Laplaca, a correctional officer at the Watertown Correctional Facility, has been arrested on charges of grand larceny, falsifying business records, and workers’ compensation fraud. Laplaca is accused of providing false documentation of an alleged on-duty injury that he sustained while responding to a personal alarm in the facility. Read more
Owner of Historic Inn Sentenced To Year In Jail For Insurance Fraud (CA) – Sanjiv Kakkar, the owner of the Brookdale Inn and Spa, which in its heyday hosted celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, has been sentenced to 364 days in jail after pleading no contest to insurance premium fraud and failing to maintain workers' compensation insurance. Kakkar also paid restitution of over $52,000 toward unpaid insurance premiums. The investigation of Kakkar began with a complaint from an employee who reported that his medical bills associated with work related injuries were unpaid. Read more
Auto Shop Owner Pleads Guilty To Felony In Workers’ Compensation Insurance Case (LA) – Keith Dorr Sr., the owner of Dorr’s Automotive LLC, has plead guilty to willfully failing to provide workers’ compensation coverage for his employees for three years. Several of his employees suffered job-related injuries for which they were not covered by a workers’ compensation policy. Dorr was placed on 5 years supervised probation and ordered to pay a criminal fine of $21,687.01. 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
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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