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.
Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter - September 1, 2011
Letter Carrier Operated Adult Online Sex Business While Receiving Workers' Comp Benefits (IN) - Chopper Loughran has pled guilty to count one of an indictment charging her with making false statements in connection with federal Workers' Compensation Benefits. Loughran was employed as a United States Postal Service Letter Carrier when she claimed a work-related injury to her right foot. She stated that she was not self employed or involved in any business enterprise while receiving benefits, but investigators discovered that she was operating an eBay business, Chopper's Playhouse, where she sold adult sex toys. Read more
Prosecutor Says School District Police Officer Put Money Ahead of Safety of Kids (CA) - The prosecutor in the bench trial of Jeff Stenroos for insurance fraud and workers' compensation fraud told the trial judge that Stenroos, a police officer with the Los Angeles school system, put his desire for money and being a hero above the safety of the children he was sworn to protect. Stenroos is accused of staging a shooting hoax while on duty at a high school, telling authorities that a car burglary suspect shot him once in the chest. Read more
Gym Owner Sentenced for Workers Compensation Fraud (CA) - Nicki Lee Buxmann has been sentenced to five months in prison and five months home detention as a result of her guilty plea to making a false statement or fraud to obtain federal employee's compensation. Buxmann owned and operated the TNT Takeover / MMA Boxing gym while at the same time receiving federal workers' compensation benefits relating to injuries she claimed to have sustained while working as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. An undercover agent caught Buxmann teaching defensive tactics techniques, replacing light bulbs, cleaning windows, and sweeping exercise mats. Read more
Former Lawyer Heading To Jail For Embezzlement and Workers Compensation Fraud (OK) - William Anton, who surrendered his law license in 2007, has been sentenced to prison for 10 years on charges that he embezzled his clients' personal injury and life insurance settlements and workers compensation benefits. Read more
Former President Of Insurance Services Firm Sentenced For Stealing $1.8 Million (MN) - Dennis Lee Pap, the owner and president of insurance services firm Parthenon Risk Partners, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison on one count of wire fraud. Parthenon Risk Partners provided insurance services to agricultural cooperatives in Minnesota, and Pap used Parthenon to steal from an agricultural self-insured workers' compensation association and an agricultural property and liability reinsurance company. Read more
Husband and Wife Collected Public Assistance While Receiving Disability Benefits (MN) - Norma Vallejo Hernandez and Rafael Hernandez-Rubio have been sentenced to jail and ordered to make restitution for welfare benefits that they improperly received. While receiving food support and health care public assistance benefits, they failed to report workers' compensation and Social Security disability payments that they were receiving. Read more
Former School Employee Stole Gas From School While Off Work For Injury (CA) - Richard "Scott" Salet has pled no contest to misdemeanor grand theft for stealing gasoline, although he still professes his innocence. Salet, a former school district maintenance worker, was seen on security cameras filling his personal vehicle with gasoline from the school system's maintenance facility on weekends. He claims that he then filled up his school vehicle later with his own funds when he had money to make up for the thefts, but the police found that he was off work and collecting workers' compensation while the thefts were occurring. Read more
Claims Examiner Guilty of Mail Fraud (NE) - William Bouda, a claims examiner for Zurich American Insurance Co., has guilty to mail fraud. Bouda created fraudulent insurance claims purporting to show that Zurich was obligated to indemnify Maverick Concrete, when in fact, there was no relationship that would have warranted indemnification. Bouda then caused a check to be issued by Zurich and sent by Federal Express to himself to pay for the fraudulent claim. Read more
Contractor Sentenced to County Jail For Unlawful Workers' Compensation Benefits and No License (CA) - Jose Cruz has been sentenced to 90 days in the county jail for making a false and fraudulent statement for the purpose of obtaining workers' compensation benefits and contracting without a license. Cruz was found working as a contractor without a license and did not have workers' compensation insurance for his employees. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Cruz was receiving temporary disability payments from a reported on-the-job injury while working for a Hyatt Regency Hotel. Read more
Contractor Guilty Of Fraudulent Use Of Contractor's License and Failure To Secure Workers' Compensation Insurance (CA) - Lavaki Fale, who was doing business as Vei Construction, has pled guilty to one felony count of fraudulent use of a contractor's license and one misdemeanor count of failing to secure workers' compensation insurance. Fale falsely claimed to be working under his brother's contractor's license while constructing a deck on a home. The deck was constructed without the proper permits and not in accordance with the local codes, and thus the homeowners were required to have the deck removed. Read more
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