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 - June 21, 2012
Bar Owner Claimed That Everyone Behind the Bar and In the Kitchen Were Just Friends (OH) - JoAnn Jennewein, the owner of the Rustic Haven Tavern, has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and attempted tampering with records after she was discovered operating her business without workers' compensation insurance coverage. A former Rustic Haven employee reported that he had suffered an injury and that Jennewein did not have workers' compensation coverage and paid numerous employees in cash. Jennewein initially told investigators she that did not have any employees, but that numerous friends helped her out for free behind the bar and in the kitchen. Read more
Come Rain Or Shine, She Could Deliver the Bagels, But Not the Mail (NY) - Alice Brown has been charged in federal court with theft of federal benefits and three counts of false statements to obtain federal benefits for allegedly receiving federal workers' compensation benefits while working at another job. Brown claimed that she could not do her job as a mail carrier because of pain from back injuries, but she was seen and videotaped working as much as ten hours a day at a bagel shop, cooking and waiting on customers with no apparent pain. Read more
Business Owner Was Floored That He Was Caught Double-Dipping (OH) - Erik Salmons, the owner and operator of Superior Hardwood Floors, has pled guilty to one count of workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. While receiving temporary total disability benefits and claiming that he was not working, Salmons was found to be operating his business. Investigators interviewed customers that Salmons performed various flooring jobs for, interviewed suppliers who sold flooring products to Salmons, and interviewed tool rental stores that verified Salmons had rented flooring tools. Read more
Reality TV Sports Bar and Strip Club Owner Charged in Worker's Compensation Insurance Fraud Case (CA) - Renee Anne Vicary, the owner of Angels Sports Bar and Gentleman's Club, Angels Sports Bar and Grill, Angels Roadhouse, and Angels Roadhouse #2, has been charged with six felonies including Worker's Compensation Insurance fraud and tax evasion. Angels Sports Bar was featured on an episode of the Spike TV show "Bar Rescue" in July 2011, during which it was renamed Racks Billiards and Bourbon. Vicary is alleged to have underreported the number of employees and the payroll at each of her establishments in order to lower her workers' compensation premiums and unemployment compensation taxes. Read more
Jail Time For Fraud Sentence Will Not Matter Because She Is Already In Prison (OH) - Maria Patterson has pled guilty to felony counts of workers' compensation fraud and forgery for submitting false documents in order to obtain temporary total disability benefits. Patterson submitted three falsified C-84 forms by signing her doctor's name and misrepresenting her dates of disability. Patterson was sentenced to 180 days incarceration on each count, but she is also serving a nine year sentence for unrelated charges of burglary, two counts of theft, tampering with evidence and breaking and entering. Read more
Trial Date Set For Son of Washington Lieutenant Governor Charged With Workers' Compensation Theft (WA) - A trial date of August 27 has been set for Mark Lee Owen, the son of Lt. Governor Brad Owen, who has been charged with theft and forgery. He is accused of continuing to receive time loss compensation for an injury, which he sustained when he was shot at work at Kent Body, Paint and Fabrication, after he returned to work at the business and submitted worker verification forms stating that he had not returned to work. Read more
Restaurant Employee Forged Witness Statement and Notary Certification (OH) - Samuel Barrow has pled guilty to two counts of forgery and one count of workers' compensation fraud for falsifying documents in order to receive injured worker benefits. Barrow submitted a falsified witness statement at an Industrial Commission hearing regarding the multiple injuries he claimed to have received while employed by The Melting Pot in Centerville. Investigators interviewed the witness and the notary and found that the statement Barrow submitted into his claim was not signed by the listed witness and was not notarized as indicated. Read more
Drywall Subcontractor Charged with Workers' Compensation Violations and Forgery (CT) - Mario Vazquez has been arrested during a traffic stop on a warrant charging him with two counts of failure to comply with workers' compensation insurance requirements and two counts of forgery in the second degree. Vazquez was retained by a contractor as a subcontractor to do drywall work and he is alleged to have submitted fraudulent documentation to show that he had the required workers' compensation insurance coverage when in fact he did not. Read more
West Africa Admits To Use Of False Certificates (OH) - West Africa, the owner of Flawless Building Services, has pled guilty to three counts of workers' compensation fraud, one felony and two misdemeanors, after he was found to have submitted five false coverage certificates to vendors to make it appear his business had workers' compensation coverage. Read more
Contractor Charged With Operating with Forged Insurance Documents (NY) - Michael Ribarich has been arrested on charges of forging insurance documents that falsely stated that his business had liability and workers' compensation coverage. Ribarich's company, Advantage Remodeling, Inc., was hired as a subcontractor to perform carpentry work at a home. Ribarich presented the lead contractor with a falsified certificate that stated that he had workers' compensation and liability insurance. Read more
Claimant Submitted False Information To Receive Benefits (OH) - Richard Marlo has pled guilty to one count of theft for falsifying wages in order to receive benefits. Marlo reported false employment and wage information in order to receive living maintenance wage loss benefits over a three month period. Read more
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