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 - December 29, 2011
What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas, Including Jail Time For Insurance Fraud (NV) - Tamara Thompson-Johnson has pled guilty to making false statements and representations to obtain workers' compensation benefits and has been placed on probation after serving five months in jail. Thompson-Johnson, who lives in and was twice extradited from Maryland as a fugitive, was attending a professional conference at the Las Vegas Hilton and narrowly missed being struck by a large vase that was dislodged from its pedestal by an intoxicated person. She initially brought a claim against the hotel, but eventually that claim was denied and her attorney withdrew from representing her after surveillance video showed that she was not hit by the vase and was uninjured. She then sought workers' compensation benefits from her employer's workers' compensation carrier, claiming that the falling vase had struck her on the back of her head, neck and back, leaving her disabled. Read more
Son Used ATM To Cash Dad's Workers' Compensation Checks After Dad Passed Away (CO) - The Colorado Springs Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for Gerald Michael Gonzalez. Gonzalez is wanted for theft, a class 4 felony, and is accused of unlawfully collecting his father's workers compensation checks from the U.S. Mail for 10 months after his father died. Gonzalez was caught on ATM surveillance cameras depositing the checks by ATM into his father's bank account and later withdrawing the funds. Read more
Disabled Worker Who Operated Contracting Company Ordered To Pay Restitution for 109 Years (OH) - William Hill has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and ordered to pay restitution of $131,919.43 at a rate of $100 a month. Hill was discovered operating his own business, Hill's Contracting Company, while receiving temporary total disability benefits over a three year period. Read more
Not Guilty Plea Expected In Workers' Comp Charges (PA) - Francis Brzoska is expected to plead not guilty at her arraignment in the Schuylkill County Court to a charge of failure to carry workers' compensation. Read more
Contractors Without Workers' Compensation Insurance Are Shut Down (CA) - Local and state authorities in San Bernardino County have issued four stop orders to contractors that had not secured workers' compensation insurance for jobsite employees, which stops all work on the contractor's jobsite until workers' compensation insurance is obtained. In addition to the stop orders, three licensees without workers' compensation insurance coverage were identified; however, the appropriate insurance was obtained within days of the compliance check, and those contractors were issued citations for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance. Read more
Northern Ohio Man Able to Plow Snow While On Disability (OH) - Kenneth McElroy, who lived in Geauga County in the Lake Erie snow belt east of Cleveland, has been sentenced to community control and ordered to make $80,000 in restitution for collecting temporary total disability benefits for five years while he was working on the side plowing snow and repairing lawn mower, landscape and construction equipment. Read more
State Issues Stop Work Orders to 23 Companies and Halts Construction Sites In Eight Connecticut Towns (CT) - The Connecticut Department of Labor's Division of Wage and Workplace Standards has issued stop work orders to 23 companies working at construction project sites in Madison, Mansfield, Middletown, Norwalk, Norwich, Old Greenwich, Stamford and Suffield. The stop work orders were levied against companies that misclassified workers as independent contractors with the intent of avoiding their obligations under federal and state employment laws covering such matters as workers' compensation, unemployment taxes and payroll reporting. Stop work orders result in the halting of all activity at a cited company's worksite, as well as a $300 civil penalty per incident for each day the company does not carry workers' compensation coverage as required by law. Read more
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