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 - November 1, 2012
Teacher Who Could Not Teach Caught On Video Doing Strenuous Yard Work (CA) - Alicia Becerra Ramirez, a substitute teacher with the Hacienda La Puente Unified school district, has been arrested on five counts of felony insurance fraud and one count of attempted perjury. Ramirez claimed that she injured her shoulder after she fell from a chair that tipped forward, but insurance investigators caught her on video doing strenuous physical activities such as yard work. Read more
Owner Of Temporary Staffing Firm Heads To Prison For Not So Temporary 21 Months (NJ) - Thuan Nguyen, who owned and operated the temporary labor companies N&T Staffing Inc., Janus Staffing, United Employment Services, JNT General Services Inc., and K&B Staffing Inc., has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery and failure to remit employment taxes. Nguyen admitted that he paid bribes totaling $145,773 to Joseph Rivera, a senior investigator with the N.J. Department of Labor, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, to protect his businesses from State of New Jersey audits and inspections. Nguyen also failed to collect and truthfully account for employment taxes, which caused a tax loss between $400,000 and $1 million. Read more
Roofing Company Owners Awaiting Sentencing Sell House In Order To Pay Restitution (CA) - The sentencing date for John Applegate and Camille Applegate, the owners of Hallmark Roofing, Inc. who pled no contest to insurance and workers' compensation fraud, has been continued at the request of defense counsel to November 27. The Applegates have already made restitution in the amount of $200,000 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund as a result of the sale of their house. The California Department of Insurance had conducted a forensic audit of the business, which revealed that by failing to report the business's employee wages accurately, Hallmark Roofing's owners avoided paying $629,391.10 in workers' compensation insurance. Read more
Insurance Agent Arrested On Charges Of Stealing Workers' Compensation Insurance Premiums (GA) - Insurance agent Tammy L. Self has been charged by the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation's Enforcement Division with felony insurance fraud. Self, who had worked at the Kilpatrick Insurance Agency, is accused of accepting insurance premiums from clients for workers' compensation insurance, but then not forwarding the premiums to the insurance carriers. Instead, she created fake certificates of insurance that she gave to the clients. Read more
Owner Follows In Steps Of Wife and Is Arrested In "Operation Dirty Money" Workers' Comp Shell Company Scheme (FL) - Evelio Suarez, the husband of defendant Zairis Cruz, has been arrested on multiple charges and approximately $1 million has been seized. Investigators determined that Suarez was the actual owner and operator of all of the businesses associated with shell companies I & T Financial Services, Inc. and Immigration and Tax Services, Inc., which had fraudulent business licenses, and that Cruz was actually an employee of the businesses. Read more
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