News

Conspirator gets 14 years for no-fault auto con in Florida
March 28, 2017, Naples, FL -- U.S. District Judge Sheri Poster Chappell has sentenced Nesly Loute (52, Naples) to 14 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit mail fraud. In addition, the Court ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $2,146,147.23 to the victim automobile insurance companies. Loute was found guilty by a federal jury on September 29, 2016. According to the evidence introduced during the six-day trial, Loute conspired with others to operate unlicensed chiropractic clinics and bill automobile insurance companies for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Members of the conspiracy also paid patients to induce them to seek treatment at the unlicensed clinics ...

‘Cash for crash’ insurance scam fraudsters
March 24, 2017, London, -- The Vauxhall Vivaro driver was behind an Astra and another car when it suddenly slammed on its brakes despite the road being clear. The van driver was unable to stop in time so shunted into the back of the Astra at 5mph while the lead car sped off. He raged at the backseat passenger Piotir Wojtukiewicz, 24, claiming the crash on the A411 in Watford, Herts, had been staged. But when the ambulance turned up Wojtukiewicz, and the other two occupants Arthur Bilksji, 24, and Michal Wielesik, 24, “started rubbing their backs and necks in pain.” The savvy van driver managed to snap pictures ...

Miami doc allegedly dispenses pain pills in $20-million con
March 23, 2017, Miami, FL -- A physician licensed in Puerto Rico, who was practicing medicine in Miami, was charged in a 16-count indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a multi-faceted $20 million health care fraud scheme involving the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid and the illegal distribution of oxycodone and other controlled substances. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. ...

Co-owners burn down New Jersey eatery for insurance
March 23, 2017, Vernon, NJ -- Jerzeez the Diner co-owners Tina Diakos and Ozkan Cengiz face up to five years probation after admitting Wednesday to burning down the Vernon restaurant in March 2016. Diakos, 49, and Cengiz, 40, both of Butler, pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in Newton before Judge William J. McGovern III to third-degree arson. Diakos and Cengiz admitted that prior to the March 8, 2016 fire that destroyed their restaurant, they agreed to burn down the structure to collect insurance money because business was not good. "We weren't happy with where we were," Cengiz said of the diner's business, adding that it was facing some ...

Washington woman allegedly falsifies crash medical bills
March 23, 2017, Puyallup, WA -- Satrauna Turk, 55, of Puyallup, pleaded not guilty in King County Superior Court yesterday to one count of filing a fraudulent insurance claim, a felony. Turk is scheduled to appear in court again on April 5. She was charged on March 6 after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). According to the charges, Turk submitted falsified medical bills totaling more than $12,600 for herself and her three children to Progressive Insurance. Turk’s nephew was the driver in a collision on Oct. 26, 2014. He told his insurer, Progressive, that Turk and her three children were in the ...

Feds seek $2 million from alleged Alabama pill-mill operators
March 22, 2017, Birmingham, AL -- Federal prosecutors have filed a civil action to seize more than $2 million in cash, investments and assets from two Birmingham doctors accused of running a pill mill, committing insurance fraud and laundering money. The married doctors, Dr. Patrick Ifediba and Dr. Uchenna Ifediba, own and operate Care Complete Medical Center on Bessemer Road in Birmingham. In October 2016, agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raided the clinic, according to court documents. No criminal charges have been filed against either doctor, said Peggy Sanford, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Alabama. According to court documents, Dr. ...

Two Michigan docs illegally hand out $4.5 million of pain pills
March 22, 2017, Detroit, MI -- Dr. Anthony Conrardy, age 61, and Dr. William McCutchen, III, age 46, were found guilty yesterday of unlawfully distributing Schedule II narcotics by a federal jury in Detroit, MI, acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch announced today. Dr. Anthony Conrardy was convicted of five counts of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone and Dilaudid, and Dr. William McCutchen, III was convicted of four counts of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone. Lemisch was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon, of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit Division, ...

Chicago-area chiro allegedly makes $10 million in false claims
March 22, 2017, West Lawn, IL -- A chiropractor with a clinic in the West Lawn neighborhood on the Southwest Side has been charged with submitting at least $10 million in bogus claims to Medicare and private insurers. Henry Posada, 54, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 18 counts of health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Posada ran the Associated Back Care and Rehabilitation clinic in the 4300 block of West 63rd Street, prosecutors said. Between 2008 and 2016, he submitted at least $10 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and private insurers, causing those programs to pay at least $5.1 ...

Insurer staffer suspected of false comp claims in Pennsylvania
March 22, 2017, York County, PA -- A York County woman who worked as an insurance claims specialist has been indicted by a federal grand jury on mail and wire fraud charges. Brenda Hilton, 59, of Windsor, is accused of submitting three fraudulent workers’ compensation claims in 2012 that directed all payments to her home address, U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler said. The claims were for approximately $27,728. Two of the three checks were deposited into Hilton’s personal bank account, Brandler said. Hilton worked for an insurance company that provides property and casualty insurance to companies throughout North America. ...

Texas agent allegedly left hail victims without coverage
March 22, 2017, Erath County, TX -- The wheels of justice seem to be turning slowly for residents caught up in a massive insurance scam that left dozens of people without coverage following a hail storm in 2015 that damaged hundreds of homes in Erath County. Cody Damron, former owner of Cowboy Capital Insurance, is under investigation in connection with the case. He is accused of taking money from clients for insurance premiums, but failing to write the coverage, leaving homeowners without insurance. One of those people affected, who asked not to be named, says he purchased a home on April 22, 2015 and immediately insured his home with ...

Broker sells fake coverage to auto lessors in Baltimore area
March 22, 2017, Ellicott City, MD -- Glenn R. Fischer, age 70, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 21, 2017, to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft arising from a scheme to defraud businesses seeking insurance. Fischer admitted that he fraudulently collected more than $4.4 million in insurance premiums which he did not remit to an insurance company, causing losses in that amount to the victims who thought they were insured. The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office. ...

Louisiana man claims crash injury, wasn’t even in car
March 22, 2017, Bossier, LA -- On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, a Bossier Parish jury rendered a unanimous verdict of guilty against Anthony Scott Tubbs on the felony charge of Insurance Fraud. Tubbs hatched a scheme to defraud USAA Insurance Company, as well as his own insurance company State Farm, following a low-impact crash that occurred in a parking lot. He claimed injuries as a result of the crash. However, it was proven at trial that Mr. Tubbs was not even in the vehicle at the time of the collision. The Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Investigations Unit investigated the incident which led to the ...

Pennsylvania man allegedly seeks coverage for damaged truck
March 22, 2017, South Franklin Township, PA -- A former South Franklin Township man was charged with insurance fraud after he allegedly tried to get an insurance company to pay for damage to his pickup truck after that same claim was denied by his current provider. Jeffrey Ray Hixon, 31, of 101 Trinity Drive, North Franklin Township, was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Ethan Ward on charges of insurance fraud and attempted theft by deception. The investigation was conducted by the attorney general’s insurance fraud section after receiving a referral from a representative of Nationwide Insurance’s special investigations unit. That company said its investigation found Hixon, while insured with GEICO, ...

Floridian allegedly tries to have Camry ruined for insurance
March 22, 2017, Orange County, FL -- Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the recent arrest of Orange County resident Michael Abrams on charges of arson, insurance fraud and grand theft after he was accused of devising a plan to have his 2016 Toyota Camry stolen and destroyed so that he could collect an insurance payout. “More often than not, acts of arson are committed in order to collect insurance payouts or to cover up a larger crime,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “To concoct the plan that he did is an elaborate act of fraud—one that undoubtedly drives up the cost of insurance for every Floridian. ...

Psych prescribes opioids to Connecticut patients without exams
March 22, 2017, Milford, CT -- Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LJUDMIL KLJUSEV, M.D., 52, of Fairfield, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 26 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing controlled substances outside of the scope of professional practice, and health care fraud. Judge Thompson also ordered KLUSEV to pay a $17,500 fine. According to court documents and statements made in court, KLJUSEV, who operated a psychiatry practice in Milford, was a high-volume prescriber of Adderall and Xanax to patients, many of whom paid for office ...

Minnesota agent allegedly forges insurer checks to himself
March 21, 2017, Shakopee, MN -- A Shakopee man is facing charges after allegedly stealing thousands from his former company through forged checks. Michael Bradley Swartz, 45, is facing two counts of theft by swindle over $35,000 and one count of theft by swindle over $5,000. According to the criminal complaint, in July 2016 an agent with the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau began investigating a report of theft and insurance fraud by an employee at an Apple Valley insurance company. An October 2015 audit of the company’s checks found there were five that had been issued that had no claim file or report associated with them. Of the checks, three ...

New York man inflates losses after torching waffle joint
March 21, 2017, Newburgh, NY -- A New Windsor man pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted arson and insurance fraud in a 2016 fire at a Town of Newburgh eatery he leased. Khaled Baroud, 61, admitted in Orange County Court to attempted arson in the March 13, 2016 fire that damaged USA Waffle, a waffle and bagel store at 440 South Plank Road. Baroud had opened the business less than a month earlier - on Feb. 28, 2016. He also admitted to falsifying "proof of loss" paperwork for the insurance company, claiming that the fire destroyed items that were not at the location and omitting his role in ...

Beware, you may be outsmarted by your own devices
March 20, 2017, Washington, DC -- An Ohio man claimed he was forced into a hasty window escape when his house caught fire last year. His pacemaker data obtained by police showed otherwise, and he was charged with arson and insurance fraud. In Pennsylvania, the authorities dismissed rape charges after data from a woman's Fitbit contradicted her version of her whereabouts during the 2015 alleged assault. Vast amounts of data collected from our connected devices - fitness bands, smart refrigerators, thermostats and automobiles, among others - are increasingly being used in legal proceedings across the United States to prove or disprove claims by people involved. In a recent case ...

Dentist steals patient identity to write opioid scripts in Kentucky
March 20, 2017, Barren County, KY -- A Barren County, Kentucky, physician was sentenced today in United States District Court by District Judge Greg N. Stivers, to 18 months in prison for obtaining controlled substances by fraud, for knowingly and intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice and for health care fraud, while he was a practicing physician in the Western District of Kentucky, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. Dr. Christopher Steward, of Cave City, was a dentist and a nurse practitioner with a practice located at 212 Broadway in Cave City and had a Drug Enforcement Agency ...

Research: Arsons coincide with falling home prices
March 20, 2017, Middletown, OH -- Ross Compton Jr.’s luck was about to turn from bad to worse. The 59-year-old man with a heart condition had seen his law license suspended, lost his home, and liquidated assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy before moving into his mother’s former residence. And then the Middletown, Ohio, dwelling erupted in flames, lighting the sky over a tree-lined cul de sac on the night of Sept. 19, 2016. Compton told police he’d packed some belongings, called 911 to alert authorities, and climbed out his bedroom window. But doubts surfaced almost immediately. A forensic review of his heart pacemaker indicated he’d been awake when ...

Woman charged with torching Atlanta-area apartment
March 20, 2017, Smyrna, GA -- A woman was arrested Sunday after authorities say she set her Smyrna apartment on fire to get $6,000 in insurance money. Laivor Nicole Robinson, 43, faces arson and insurance fraud charges stemming from the November incident, according to arrest warrants. Police said multiple fires were set in the apartment. Robinson was given $6,000 by her insurance company, American Bankers Insurance, but then asked for $30,000 more, warrants showed. Officials did not say how they were able to determine Robinson had lied. ...

Group vandalizes luxury cars for insurance in North Dakota
March 20, 2017, Fargo, ND -- The last of four Fargo residents who were accused in Cass County District Court of destroying BMW and Mercedes Benz sedans in order to reap insurance checks pleaded guilty on Monday, March 20. Adem Hokic, who is 62 or 63, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal control of an enterprise and was sentenced to 60 days, which he will be allowed to serve on electronic home monitoring. After serving his time, he will be on probation for one year. Hokic was also ordered to pay $9,999 in restitution, which will go to insurance companies. He will be jointly responsible for that restitution with ...

Minnesota Commerce Department fines title insurance company, real estate agent for kickback scheme
March 20, 2017, Saint Paul, MN -- Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that his department has fined an Elk River title insurance company and a Maple Grove real estate agent for a kickback scheme in which the agent steered nearly all of his clients to the company in exchange for valuable perks for himself. The enforcement actions are part of a continuing investigation of potential violations of anti-kickback laws in Minnesota’s real estate industry. The Commerce Department recently took similar action against TitleSmart, a Maplewood-based title insurance company that hosted wine-and-dine boat cruises with real estate agents and mortgage lenders to get their clients’ referral business. “This is ...

Berks County woman sentenced to state prison for role in illegally prescribing prescription drugs
March 20, 2017, Berks County, PA -- Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a Berks County woman has been sentenced to 6 to 18 years in state prison for being an accomplice to a doctor who came to be known as the “Candyman” because he illegally prescribed thousands of prescription drugs through his mental health offices. The prison term imposed Thursday for Rameeza Chowdhury, 56, the former office manager to Mohammed Abdul Rahman Khan, will also be followed by five years of probation. Chowdhury was recently found guilty of various crimes following a bench trial in Berks County. “We’re fighting drug abuse on every front, from opioids to fraudulent ...

Homeowners warned against contractors in Georgia
March 20, 2017, Dougherty County, GA -- The Dougherty County Sheriff's Department is investigating cases of contractor fraud after the January storms. The storms left locals with large amounts of damage to their homes, and now, some are left with no money. Captain Craig Dodd says homeowners should never pay a contractor before the work is done. Paying upfront could potentially be a sign of fraud. Dodd says it is important to make sure you are satisfied with the work done before spending any money. Hiring a contractor through an insurance company is also a way to stay protected from fraud. “Any contractor that you deal with needs to have licensing ...