Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (4/24/2014) – Taxi Driver Legally Changed His Name To Hide His Double-Dipping

Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter (4/24/2014) – Taxi Driver Legally Changed His Name To Hide His Double-Dipping


Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter – April 24, 2014

Taxi Driver Legally Changed His Name To Hide His Double-Dipping (WA) – Cab driver Shahin I. Shahin has been sentenced to 19 days in electronic home monitoring after pleading guilty to theft. Walid I. Shahin originally filed for workers' compensation after he was struck by a freight elevator door while he worked at a restaurant. He then changed his name legally to Shahin I. Shahin and used his new name as a taxi cab driver. Shahin never reported his name change or his work as a taxi driver to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, and he even passed two medical exams under the new name, clearing him to drive a cab.   Read more

Bus Driver Caught By Bus Camera In Fake Robbery Claim Pleads Not Guilty (CA) – Velma Jones, the San Francisco Municipal Railway bus driver who has been charged with workers’ compensation insurance fraud, has pled not guilty. Jones filed a workers’ compensation claim for a head injury that she claimed to have sustained in a robbery on the bus. But footage from the bus surveillance camera allegedly shows that Jones was not robbed, but that while she was out of the bus on a break. a thief boarded the bus and stole booklets of paper transfers.   Read more

Wife Helped Husband Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits While He Was In Jail For Embezzlement (OH) – Regina Whitman has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and has been sentenced to a jail sentence that will run concurrent with her sentence for embezzlement. Regina and her husband, Russell Whitman, had been arrested and charged with felony theft and were suspected of embezzling a large amount of money from their family business. While Russell was in jail on the embezzlement charge, Regina, the payroll manager for the family business, submitted false payroll records so that he could continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits that he had been granted before he was incarcerated.   Read more

Disgraced Mayor Charged By FBI With Making False Statement In Federal Banking Investigation (WV) – Darrin McCormick has been charged with making a materially false statement in a federal investigation of the Bank of Mingo, where he worked as a branch manager. McCormick was also the Mayor of Williamson, West Virginia, until he resigned the day before he was charged. Federal authorities were conducting an investigation into the activities of the bank and Aracoma Contracting, an employee leasing firm that worked with coal companies. Aracoma was withdrawing cash from the bank in amounts to avoid federal reporting requirements and using the cash to pay its payroll and to bribe an insurance auditor to reduce its workers’ compensation insurance premiums.   Read more

Roofing Company President Who Claimed To Not Repair Roofs Pleads Guilty to Felony Fraud Scheme (NJ) – Charles Pegler Sr., the president of Roof Diagnostics, Inc., has pled guilty to providing false and misleading information to his company’s workers’ compensation insurance carriers in order to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. Pegler falsely told his insurers that his company, which employed 400 employees, was not a roofing company, that it did not employ roofers, and that it did not install, maintain and/or repair roofs.   Read more

Disabled Carpenter Nailed By Investigators For Working While Receiving Benefits (OH) – Christopher Steele has guilty to workers' compensation fraud. While Steele was receiving both Living Maintenance and Working Wage Loss benefits, he failed to report his earnings as a carpenter and construction worker.   Read more

Highway Contractor’s Daughter Indicted For Workers’ Compensation Premium Fraud (TX) – A grand jury has indicted G&M Construction and Glenda Gail Miller Howell on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. G&M Construction, owned by Glenda Howell's father, was a road repair contractor that performed crack seal operations and sign erection for the Texas Department of Transportation. Glenda Howell is alleged to have intentionally misrepresented the operations and payroll of her father’s company.   Read more

Injured Hand Did Not Stop Disability Claimant From Opening His Own Repair Shop (ME) – Stephen Tucker, Sr., has been convicted in a jury trial of theft of more than $10,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. Tucker received benefits by claiming that he could not work due to an injury to his hand sustained while working at Brewer's Service Station. But while receiving benefits, Tucker opened his own small engine repair business, Littleton Service, and performed many physical tasks in connection with his business that were inconsistent with his disability claim.   Read more

Home Health Aide Ordered To Repay $32K In Workers' Compensation Benefits (OH) – Laura Brown has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud and has been ordered to pay $32,928.05 in restitution for working while collecting workplace injury benefits. During 2011 and 2012, Brown returned to work as a home health aide while receiving temporary total disability and living maintenance benefits.   Read more

Injured Worker Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud For Lies Made Under Oath (IL) – Jeffrey Fessler has been indicted on felony charges for perjury and workers’ compensation fraud in connection with false statements that he allegedly made under oath during a workers’ compensation hearing. Video surveillance obtained on behalf of Fessler’s employer showed him working at his residence and at two other homes during the period that he claimed to be temporarily totally disabled. At the hearing, Fessler made false statements concerning the ownership of the homes where he performed the work and about the compensation he received for the work performed.   Read more

Retired Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud For Playing Church Organ (NY) - Patrick S. O'Mara, a Buffalo Police Officer, has pled guilty to wire fraud in a federal court. Mara was placed on Injured on Duty Status as a result of exacerbation of cervical and lumbar strains that were sustained while on duty. He returned to work on light duty, but he was placed on Injured on Duty Status again after he claimed that he injured his right arm while lifting two reams of copy paper. While Mara claimed that he was unable to work, he was working as a paid musical director and church organist and using his right arm. A doctor also told investigators that O’Mara walked into his office using a cane, but the doctor later witnessed O’Mara walking in the parking lot without any limp.   Read more

Online Business Owner Caught Working While Receiving Benefits (OH) – David Becker has pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving workplace injury benefits. Investigators found that Becker was operating an online tractor supply business from his home while collecting temporary total disability benefits.   Read more

Former Walmart Employee Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Perjury (CT) – Jade Beaulieu has been arrested on charges of workers’ compensation fraud and perjury for allegedly lying about the extent of her injuries. Beaulieu reported suffering a work-related injury while employed by Walmart and collected over $9,000 in benefits during a six-month period. But while collecting those benefits, she was observed via video surveillance performing tasks that she was restricted from doing because of the reported injury. Beaulieu falsely testified at a deposition when asked if she had ever exceeded those restrictions.   Read more

Hotel Worker Falsely Accused Customer of Assaulting Him (OH) – Joseph Stapleton has pled guilty to falsification. Stapleton filed a workers’ compensation claim, alleging he was assaulted by a hotel patron while working. A police report and witnesses, though, stated that Stapleton was not involved in the altercation with the patron and was not injured at work.   Read more

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.

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