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 - August 16, 2012
Hotel Employee Who Could Not Use a Restroom Without Assistance Was Able To Play Billiards (OK) - Tony Azar, aka Tony Azarhooshang, has been charged with workers' compensation fraud for allegedly exaggerating a workplace injury. Azar claimed that he injured his back when he slipped and fell at the swimming pool at the Biltmore Hotel where he worked. He told his doctor that he had to walk with a cane and could not take a bath or use the toilet without assistance. Surveillance video, though, showed him walking into a pool hall without his cane and playing billiards without any assistance. Read more
Patient Violates Pain Management Contracts In Order To Get Duplicate Prescriptions From Two Doctors (OH) - Doug Caldwell has pled guilty to two counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug. Caldwell was simultaneously visiting two physicians to obtain duplicate prescriptions for the same narcotic. Neither physician was aware that Caldwell was obtaining similar narcotics from the other. Caldwell had signed and agreed to a pain management contract under both physicians certifying that he would only obtain pain medication from one physician. Read more
Gulf Coast Restaurant Owners Cooking Without Insurance (FL) - Two restaurant owners in Sarasota have been charged with allegedly operating their businesses without maintaining workers' compensation insurance. Both Kevin M. Thomas, the owner of Shucks Seafood Grill in south Sarasota near Siesta Key, and Rafael Perez, the owner of the Floribbean Restaurant in downtown Sarasota, have been arrested on the charges. Read more
Safety Inspection Catches Truck Driver Who Was Receiving Permanent Total Disability Benefits (OH) - Christ Yanacos has pled guilty to one felony count of workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. Yanacos returned to employment as a part-time independent truck driver with MARS Trucking Inc. after he began receiving permanent total disability benefits as a result of a workplace injury. His employment was discovered after he was stopped for a safety inspection while driving a commercial vehicle. Read more
Federal Grand Jury Demands Records Of City Of Chicago Duty Disability Program (IL) - After the Finance Committee of the Chicago City Council refused to turn over records about the city's workers' compensation program for all employees except for sworn police and fire employees, federal prosecutors have obtained subpoenas from a federal grand jury for those same records. The city's Duty Disability Program is run by the Finance Committee, which is headed by the powerful Alderman Edward Burke. Read more
Certified Provider Was Providing Disability Services To Clients While She Was Supposedly Disabled (OH) - Patricia Perry has pled guilty to one felony count of workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. Perry was a licensed and certified provider with both the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She was providing care and services to developmentally disabled individuals during the same time periods she claimed to be disabled and unable to work. Read more
Use Of Fake Social Security Card Leads To Arrest For Worker's Compensation Fraud (FL) - Jorge Deleon Mazariegos has been charged with worker's compensation fraud and criminal use of personal identification. The arrest occurred as a result of his attempting to use a fraudulent Social Security card to obtain employment at Harllee Packing, also known as Palmetto Vegetable Company, LLC. Read more
Drug Abuser Gets 30 More Days In Jail For False Workers' Compensation Claim (OH) - Michael Johnson, who was already serving time for cocaine and opiate abuse, has been sentenced to an additional 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of falsification. Investigators found that there were conflicting stories about whether Johnson was actually hurt while working. Eyewitnesses who worked with Johnson on the day of the injury indicated that they never witnessed his injury as he reported. Read more
Claimant Was Busy As She Double-Dipped With Three Employers (OH) - Suzarrah Fisher has pled guilty to one felony count of workers' compensation fraud. Fisher was found to be receiving wages while collecting benefits for a prior workplace injury. She worked for three employers over a two year period while receiving temporary total disability and living maintenance benefits. Read more
Disability Applicant Used False Employers and Names To Get Drugs (OH) - James Decker has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud for obtaining unlawful prescription narcotics. He knowingly filed four false claims against employers he never worked for. He also filed a false claim using another person's name. Decker admitted to filing the five false claims and using a false identity to obtain narcotics. Read more
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