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 - June 16, 2011
Psychologist and Former Postal Employees Charged With Phony Disability Claims, Including Fear of Dogs Claim (CA) - Arnold P. Nerenberg, the co-founder of the World Legion of Power bodybuilding organization, has been charged with submitting fraudulent paperwork with former postal workers Lois L. Washington and Cetric T. Fletcher on their disability claims. Nerenberg also is alleged to have to have assisted an undercover agent who posed as a postal worker to seek federal disability pay for the agent's alleged fear of dogs. Read more
Husband and Wife Indicted on Charges of Committing Elaborate Workers Compensation Fraud Scheme (CO) - Martin Lobatos has been accused of falsely claiming that his injuries from a fall from a ladder while working as a roofer had continued even after doctors reported that he was recovered from his injuries. After he claimed to be fully catatonic, he was observed passing his driving test and then driving and shopping. His wife, Belen Luna Lobatos, is alleged to have fraudulently collected monthly benefits as the caregiver for her husband. Read more
Business Owner Sued For Failing to Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance (ID) - James E. Hohnhorst and his business, Sagebrush Inn Inc., have been sued by the State of Idaho Industrial Commission for failing to provide workers' compensation coverage for the employees of the business. The Commission is seeking damages and injunctive relief. Read more
Flooring Company and President Ordered to Pay Fines for Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors (MA) - Floor Sanders and Finishers of Massachusetts, Inc., and its president, Varouj J. Nersesian, have been ordered to pay $26,000 in fines for misclassifying their employees as independent contractors and for record keeping violations. The violations occurred during the construction of a senior citizens center. The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office stated that misclassified employees are often left without unemployment insurance and workers' compensation benefits. Read more
Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Seeks Injunction to Shut Down Company (OH) - The workers' compensation coverage for Anthony Gray and his company, Gray Container, expired in 2006, but Gray has continued to operate his business without coverage, with 25 claims filed by his employees in the past 5 years. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is now asking for a court ordered injunction to force him to close his business until he acquires coverage. Read more
Radiologist, Owner of Three Medical Clinics, and Associates Indicted on Charges of Insurance Fraud (CA) - Dr. Sim Hoffman, who owns Advanced Professional Imaging, Advanced Management Services, and Better Sleeping Medical Center, has been indicted on 884 charges of insurance fraud for allegedly overbilling the City of Los Angeles and 18 insurance companies. Also indicted were Beverly Mitchell, the administrator in charge of billing for the facilities, Louis Santillan, a bill collector for the facilities, and Dr. Thomas Heric, a neurologist. Read more
Another Sting Conducted in California to Nab Unlicensed Contractors (CA) - As part of the ongoing effort in California to stop unlicensed contractors, who often fail to carry workers' compensation coverage, from operating, authorities conducted a sting operation in Santa Cruz County. Seven contractors were cited for failing to have workers' compensation insurance, and six were cited for failing to have a contractor's license. Read more
Contractor Sentenced to Prison for Obtaining Dam and Bridge Contracts Using Stolen Identity and Sham Company (NJ) - Construction contractor Joseph Budis has been sentenced to four years in state prison because he used a stolen identity, a fictitious company, and fraudulent documents to successfully bid on public projects, including a project to restore a town dam, when his companies were barred from such projects. Budis also did not have workers' compensation insurance and filed fraudulent liability insurance certificates. Read more
Phony Insurance Agent Arrested for Selling Bogus Workers' Compensation Insurance Policies (FL) - Carl Delmas Fuller of North Carolina has been was charged with mail and wire fraud for selling a Florida employment services company a fake workers' compensation insurance policy and collecting more than $2.7 million in workers' compensation premiums. Fuller posed as an agent for a North Carolina insurance agency, although he ran his business out of private mailbox in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Read more
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