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 - January 31, 2013
FEMA Grant Writer Charged With Wire Fraud For False Fire Department Grants and Workers' Comp Fraud For Double-Dipping (LA) - Curtis Roller has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of wire fraud after obtaining Federal Emergency Management Agency grants and on four counts of making false statements on workers compensation forms. The indictment alleges that Roller submitted false data on FEMA grants for fire departments that were to then purchase equipment from his companies. In addition, he is accused of failing to report his income as a fire chief and as the as owner of his fire services and vehicle manufacturing companies while he was receiving workers' compensation benefits from a claim that was filed when he worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Read more
Florida Keys Builder Arrested For Underreporting Payroll (FL) - George Andrew, the president of Royal Crest Co. Inc., has been arrested on a warrant that alleges he committed workers' compensation fraud by underreporting his payroll to his insurance carrier. The Florida Department of Financial Services' Division of Insurance Fraud alleges that Andrew reported only $12,000 in payroll, while a state audit revealed that he had a total payroll of $346,905. Andrew's attorney has stated that this should strictly be a civil matter between his client and the State of Florida. Read more
Fired Public Works Employee Charged With Workers' Compensation Fraud (CT) - Randall Baribault has been arrested by Inspectors from the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Fraud Control Bureau in the Office of the Chief State's Attorney and charged with one count each of Workers' Compensation Fraud and Perjury. Baribault was recently fired from his public works job. Read more
Former Construction Company President Sentenced to State Prison for Stealing More Than $450,000 (NJ) - Herlindo Garcia-Merlos, the president of the now-defunct Orients Construction Company, Inc., has been sentenced to eight years in state prison for stealing a total of more than $450,000 by providing false and misleading information to the company's workers' compensation carrier and for failing to file tax returns and underreporting wages for his business and himself. Garcia-Merlos falsely reported to the workers' compensation carrier the type of services rendered by Orients as well as the amount of payroll during certain specified policy periods. Read more
Prison Guard Avoids Prison After Conviction For Double-Dipping (TX) - Chindra Michael has been sentenced to deferred adjudication and ordered to pay restitution as a result of her conviction on workers' compensation fraud-related charges. Michael reported a job-related injury while working as a direct care provider for East Texas Community Services. She claimed that she was unable to work as a result of the injury and began receiving income benefits. An investigation, though, revealed that Michael was working as a state prison guard while receiving the income benefits. Read more
Injured Worker Hauled Water and Plowed Snow While Receiving Disability Benefits (OH) - Jason Klein has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud after an investigation that occurred as a result of two complaints to an anonymous fraud hotline. Investigators found that Klein knowingly owned and operated his business, KBI Services, while receiving Temporary Total and Living Maintenance compensation, hauling water, plowing snow and performing natural gas conversions. Read more
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