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 – July 4, 2013
Moving To Arkansas Did Not Shield Claimant From Video Surveillance For False California Claim (CA) – The conviction of German Morales on two counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud has been affirmed by the Court of Appeal of California. Morales filed a workers’ compensation claim with Weber Distribution of California several months after he had left his employment with the firm and moved to Arkansas. Surveillance video in Arkansas showed Morales riding a motorcycle, shopping, playing soccer, moving items to and from a storage locker, and other activities that were inconsistent with his alleged work injuries. Read more
Contractors Who Failed To Pay Workers’ Compensation Premiums Swept Up In State Investigation (WA) – As a result of a sweep by state construction compliance inspectors of 125 contractors on 89 job sites, eight contractors have been referred for audits to check for unpaid workers’ comp premiums. After the sweep, the inspectors said they encountered many licensed contractors who said they really appreciated the investigation. Read more
Vineyard Field Worker’s Lies Lead To Jail (CA) - Ema Pantoja has been sentenced to ninety days in jail 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. Read more
Singing Cop Indicted For Insurance Fraud (NY) – Christopher Inserra has been indicted on charges of insurance fraud for working while on disability. Inserra claimed that he was unable to work as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York between 2010 and 2012 because of a debilitating work injury to his lower bicep and elbow region of his right arm. Investigators, though, filmed him during that time period singing with the rock band Cousin Sleaze and allegedly using his right arm while performing. Read more
Owner Of Unlicensed Auto Repair Shop Pleads Guilty To Workers’ Compensation Charge (CA) – Fernando Rodriguez, the owner of Zavala’s Transmission, has admitted that he did not carry workers’ compensation insurance for his employees and has been sentenced to one day in jail and three years’ probation. Investigators also found that his shop was not registered with state and local authorities and that he had failed to obtain a city business license. Read more
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