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 2, 2013
Landscaper Ordered To Pay $18,000 For Workers' Comp Fraud (OH) - Mark Mefferd has pled guilty to felony workers' compensation fraud and has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,690.63, plus court costs. Mefferd was discovered to be working at his landscaping business, trimming trees, pulling weeds, planting flowers and spreading mulch, while he was receiving temporary total, living maintenance and non-working wage loss benefits for a prior workplace injury. Read more
Landscaping Company Misclassified Tree Trimmers as Lawn Trimmers To Lower Workers' Comp Premiums (CA) - Jesse Garcia Contreras and Carlos Contreras, who operate Sunshine Landscaping, have been charged with workers' compensation fraud for allegedly misclassifying many of their employees. The company, which provides landscaping services for many homeowner associations and country clubs in the Palm Desert area, misclassified employees to less risky jobs, such as 40 tree trimmers who they misclassified as landscapers. Read more
Injured Worker Filed Claim For New Job While Receiving Benefits For Old Job and Then Fled To Puerto Rico (OH) - Miguel Santoni has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits for a prior workplace injury. Santoni filed a new workers' compensation claim from a new job while still receiving disability benefits from one of his prior workers' compensation claims. After he was indicted, it was discovered that he was in Puerto Rico, and he was extradited back to Ohio for trial. Read more
False Injury Claim Leads To Felony Charges (NY) - Tammi-Lynn Meek has been arrested on felony charges for larceny and workers' compensation fraud. Meek is accused of unlawfully receiving $4,000 in workers' compensation benefits by filing a false injury claim and a false statement relating to the claim. Read more
Tow Truck Driver Reported Lower Wages In Order To Keep More Benefits (OH) - Danny McDonald has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and must pay restitution of more than $16,000. McDonald completed a rehabilitation program and began working as a tow truck driver. In order to obtain Living Maintenance Wage Loss benefits, he reported his bi-weekly earnings from his employer and he received the difference between his current earnings and his earnings prior to his industrial injury. McDonald began reporting earnings that were significantly less than his actual earnings, causing him to receive a higher benefit than he was entitled to receive. Read more
Nightclub Closed For Lack Of Workers' Compensation Insurance (NY) - Ronald Coury, the owner of the 93 Lounge nightclub, has been arrested and his business has been shut down because he has failed to provide workers' compensation insurance to his employees. Read more
Video Surveillance Catches Vineyard Field Worker In Lies (CA) - Ema Pantoja has pled guilty to workers' compensation insurance fraud for providing false information about the extent of a work injury. Pantoja claimed that she hurt her left wrist and elbow while working as a field worker at the Scheid Vineyards. She claimed that she could not use her left hand at all, specifying that she could not even drive a car and had to wear a wrist brace constantly. Video surveillance, though, contradicted her claims and resulted in charges being filed against her. Read more
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