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 - May 10, 2012
Conviction of California Highway Patrol Officer Affirmed By Court of Appeal (CA) - The conviction of former CHP officer Michael Patrick Jones for defrauding the California Highway Patrol and the State Compensation Insurance Fund by filing false and fraudulent claims that he was physically unable to work due to work-related back injuries has been upheld by the Court of Appeal of California, Fifth Appellate District. The appellate court rejected arguments by Jones that the prosecution improperly suppressed exculpatory evidence, that the prosecution engaged in fraud by suppressing this newly discovered evidence of his innocence, and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Download and Read the Court Decision
Washington Roofing Contractor Who Left Homeowners High and Not Dry Sits In Jail While Waiting For New Lawyer (MT) - Roofing contractor John Mulinski, who was found guilty of wire fraud for taking money from homeowners and not starting or completing the contracted roofing jobs, has asked the federal court to grant a continuance of his sentencing hearing so he could fire his attorney and be represented by a public defender. The judge granted the continuance, but also ordered that Mulinski would remain in jail until his sentencing hearing is completed. The Montana Department of Labor and Industry initially investigated Mulinski on allegations that he was not providing workers' compensation for his employees, but the investigation spread to allegations that he had failed to complete roofing jobs that he had taken payments for. Read more
Business Owners and Employee Arrested on Charges of Workers' Compensation Insurance Premium Fraud (CA) - Sied "Mike Zarrin" Zarrinsaray and his wife, Ronak Barazandeh, the owners of United RMR Enterprises, Inc., as well as an employee of the company, Chad Oberquell, have been charged with felony workers' compensation insurance fraud. Oberquell, who was also an employee of ITR Industries, is alleged to have reported to ITR Industries that he injured his knee while working there. After the injury was reported, fellow employees came forward and reported that Oberquell did not injure his knee while working for ITR Industries, but instead was injured while working a weekend job with their competitor, United RMR Enterprises. An investigation then revealed that United RMR Enterprises had allegedly not reported Oberquell's injury to its workers' compensation insurance carrier and that United RMR Enterprises was paying Oberquell, and other employees, cash wages and not reporting these employees on their payroll for insurance premium purposes. Read more
Altering Pay Stubs To Increase Benefits May Lead To Jail Time (OH) - William Vargas, who has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud, has been ordered to either pay restitution of $6,107.46 or go to jail for 30 days. Vargas was receiving living maintenance wage loss benefits due to a workplace injury when he was found to be altering his pay stubs in order to receive benefits for periods in which he did not work. Investigators found the irregularities in his pay stubs from his employment with Niles Manufacturing and Signs by Tomorrow because the "year-to-date" earnings listed on the pay stubs did not change from week to week. Read more
Claimant Forged Doctor's Signature To Receive Additional Benefits (OH) - Maria Patterson has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and forgery after she was found forging documents in order to receive undue injured worker benefits. Patterson falsified three C-84 forms by signing her doctor's name and misrepresenting her dates of disability. As a consequence, she was paid benefits she would not otherwise have been eligible to receive. Read more
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