News

More info on prescription fraud arrest
January 30, 2017, Morrow, GA -- Hickory Police have released more information regarding the arrest of 21-year-old Fantazia Iesha Weeks of Morrow, Georgia. She was arrested at about 11:40 a.m. yesterday (December 29) on two felony counts of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by forgery or fraud. She was arrested after Police responded to the Viewmont Pharmacy on 13th Avenue N.E. in Hickory. Staff at the pharmacy reported that a woman was attempting to obtain Alprazolam and Promethazine using a fraudulent prescription. Authorities confirmed the fraud with the prescribing physician. Officers took Weeks into custody without incident at the store. She was placed in the Catawba Co. ...

Ill. farmer inflates claim for equipment he never owned
January 18, 2017, Quincy, IL -- Quincy resident Dean Mowen was found guilty Wednesday for his involvement in an insurance fraud scheme. A federal jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts against Mowen, 53. U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough presided over the trial, which began Jan. 10. Mowen, of the 6900 block of Ellington Road, was allowed to remain on bond pending sentencing, scheduled for May 22. Evidence presented by the government showed that in August 2015, Mowen and co-defendant David Speer traveled to Mississippi to buy farm equipment. Speer negotiated the purchase price on a New Holland 8970 tractor and ...

Former Cleveland cop burns car for insurance money
January 18, 2017, Cleveland, OH -- District Attorney Steve Crump of Bradley County announced on Wednesday morning that a former Cleveland Police officer who was convicted of insurance fraud has now been sentenced. Fmr Cleveland PD officer Millan sentenced to 3 yrs to serve after conviction for false report, tampering w/evidence, insurance fraud on duty. Edwin Millan was arrested back in September of 2015. Investigators said Millan claimed his car was stolen, when he had actually set it on fire in Murray County himself.. On Thursday, a jury convicted him of insurance fraud, tampering with evidence, and making false reports. He will be back in court on a later date for ...

Local DA in Mass. gets $50K grant to combat fraud
January 17, 2017, Plymouth County, MA -- A $50,000 grant from the Insurance Fraud Bureau to the office of the Plymouth County District Attorney will help stop auto insurance fraud in the region and keep insurance premiums down for policyholders in the state. The Office of Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz was awarded $50,000 last week to combat automobile insurance fraud in Brockton and Plymouth County. The grant was from the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, in coordination with the state Commissioner of Insurance. The money will support the participation of Cruz's office in the Community Insurance Fraud Initiative, to help find and prosecute people like former Brockton business ...

N.J. man fakes theft of $139K Bentley for insurance payday
January 17, 2017, Hudson County, NJ -- A Hudson County man was sentenced to four years in prison in an insurance fraud case, authorities said. John Jarzabek, 27, of Harrison, was sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court in keeping with the plea agreement reached when he pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud last August, Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a news release. Jarzabek and his parents, Chester Jarzabek, 64, and Anna Jarzabek, 62, were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and other offenses for allegedly falsifying a car loan application to buy the used luxury vehicle, Porrino said. John Jarzabek was also accused of playing a part in a scheme ...

Ex-Norman attorney ordered to pay restitution in fraud case
January 17, 2017, Norman, OK -- A former Norman attorney has been ordered to pay more than $525,000 in restitution to former clients and the federal government for fraud. The Norman Transcript (http://bit.ly/2iKogql ) reports that Dane Thomas Wilson was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison in December, nearly a year after he pleaded guilty to using wire fraud in order to embezzle his clients’ insurance payments. A federal judge ordered the restitution last week. Prosecutors say Wilson would deposit money he received in a client trust account and then write checks to himself. He was also accused of making cash withdrawals or transferring money in amounts ...

Former Ga. agent’s alleged plot to inflate boat-towing claims torpedoed
January 17, 2017, Clarke County, GA -- Former insurance agent Christopher Lowell Jackson, 39, of Athens, was arrested earlier this month on warrants for five counts of insurance fraud and three counts of forgery. Georgia Department of Insurance Fraud investigators determined that Jackson filed bogus watercraft insurance claims and submitted forged documents for personal financial gain. “Insurance fraud ultimately hurts the Georgia consumer, who ends up paying higher premiums to cover losses,” Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said. “My office will continue to pursue all types of insurance fraud aggressively.” An investigation by Hudgens’ office revealed that on May 13, 2016, Jackson took out watercraft insurance policies on a 2000 ...

America’s 8 worst insurance scammers of 2016 revealed
January 17, 2017, Washington, DC -- America’s most-brazen, vicious or plain klutzy insurance scammers have been elected to the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame. The No-Class of 2016 displays some of America's most-extreme cases of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud steals $80 billion a year — raising premiums for honest Americans. The extreme schemers' reign of error shows why. Fraud victims face stolen savings ... wrecked credit ... disabling surgeries. Some people are murdered. Scammers also pay. They get caught ... can go to jail ... lose jobs ... wreck their families. They’re known as criminals to friends and community. The Hall of Shame exposes insurance fraud as a major national crime ...

Video shows Wisc. man burning office building for insurance money
January 16, 2017, Oshkosh, WI -- A federal jury has found a Winnebago County man guilty on six charges related to a fire that destroyed a commercial building in Oshkosh. Federal court records from the United States District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin show Jeremy J. Neumann was convicted of Arson of a Building Used in Interstate Commerce; Mail Fraud; Arson in Connection with a Federal Felony; and three counts of Making a False Statement. The verdict was handed down on Jan. 12, 2017. Neumann was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2015, after fire burned a building at Bowen Street and Leeward Court in Oshkosh. The building ...

Calif. pot firm says agent stole workers-comp premiums
January 16, 2017, Humboldt County, CA -- A Humboldt County medical marijuana company has sued a local insurance agent for fraud and embezzlement, alleging that it gave the agent $50,000 to buy a workers' compensation policy that was never delivered. Humboldt Redwood Healing sued John Ford, of the Eureka-based John Ford Insurance Agency, in October. The company also reported Ford to local authorities, and the district attorney's office searched the premises at Ford Insurance on October 21, according to Humboldt Redwood Healing CEO Thomas Mulder. Mulder published an open letter on Humboldt County-area news blog Redheaded Blackbelt on Wednesday making the accusations public. According to the blog, the ...

Healthcare Biometrics market research report forecast to 2013- 2029
January 16, 2017, Washington, DC -- The 97-page comprehensive study forecasts that the global healthcare biometrics market will grow to US$5.8 billion in 2019, from an estimated US$1.2 billion in 2012. The report, titled “Healthcare Biometrics Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019”, also indicates that the healthcare biometrics market will grow at a remarkable 25.9% CAGR from 2013 to 2019. Browse the full Healthcare Biometrics Market (Fingerprint, Face, Iris, Voice, Vein, Signature and Hand Recognition Technologies, Logical Access Control, Physical Access Control and Transaction Authentication Applications) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019 ...

Scammers who target unsuspecting elderly steal billions each year
January 15, 2017, Palo, IA -- On April 1, 2014, Karla Sibert answered her mother’s cellphone while her mother, Marlene Sibert, 79, was in surgery. On the other end of the line, a woman asked how the product Marlene had bought from Leading Health Source was working. Karla Sibert, of Palo, Iowa, pretended to be her mother and asked what she had bought and how she had paid for it. She doesn’t recall the answer but after hanging up the phone she got out her mother’s credit card and called the number on the back. She learned that the card had $8,000 worth of charges. “When she came ...

NYPD cop allegedly rides roller coaster while receiving disability money
January 14, 2017, Williamsburg, VA -- Life's a real roller coaster for a retired NYPD Internal Affairs lieutenant receiving a tax-free disability pension and social security payments. John Bruzzese, 47, who retired at the end of 2008, receives at least $44,000 a year in taxpayer money through his NYPD disability pension — along with another $43,872 in social security disability insurance, documents obtained by the Daily News show. But photos show that the former cop’s injuries didn’t prevent him from having a blast on at least five roller coasters in March 2015. “I cannot work. I have difficulty carrying (stuff) things, physical labor causes me great pain. I can't ...

Blogger: Fraud and abuse plagued comp system in Calif. in 2016
January 13, 2017, Sacramento, CA -- Now that 2016 is done, it's time to look at the top 10 developments in California workers’ comp during the year. This post updates my July 2016 list of top developments and reflects events through the close of the year. Here are the events and trends that stood out in 2016: 1. DWC regulatory activity continued, although at a slower pace than prior years. The primary 2016 regulatory developments were the adoption of medical treatment utilization schedule chronic pain and opioid guidelines (in effect as of July 2016) and the ongoing development of a prescription drug formulary. After a February forum on ...

Calif. body shop inflates vehicle repair claims
January 13, 2017, Redwood City, CA -- A Redwood City man was sentenced to two years probation and 40 days in jail after he pleaded no contest to two felony charges of insurance fraud Thursday, said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County district attorney. Though Uriel Lenin Sotomayor, 32, pleaded no contest to felony charges, a judge reduced the charges to misdemeanors at sentencing. He will receive credit for one day served, said Wagstaffe. In 2010 and 2011, four individuals brought their vehicles into Quest Auto Collision Shop, where Sotomayor was foreman and later owner. At one point, the shop was renamed Premier Auto Collision Shop. All four car owners ...

Healthcare exec allegedly part of $33-million Medicare-Medicaid ripoff
January 13, 2017, Brooklyn, NY -- A health-care executive from Staten Island was part of a ring that ripped off $33 million from the Medicaid and Medicare systems through kickbacks and eight fraudulent medical clinics that operated in Brooklyn, officials allege. Asher Oleg Kataev, 48, is one of six defendants - including three doctors - charged Thursday in Manhattan federal court in the alleged scheme, which ran for several years, said authorities. A key figure was Aleksandr Burman, who was previously charged in the case and has pleaded guilty to his role, prosecutors said. He awaits sentencing. Burman, who has no medical license, established eight medical clinics in Brooklyn, ...

Alcohol-drug clinics in Utah allegedly made more than 900 false claims
January 13, 2017, Santaquin, UT -- A federal grand jury has indicted a Santaquin man who owned two drug and alcohol treatment centers for allegedly obtaining more than $700,000 by submitting 900 fraudulent health care claims. Dustin Joseph Long, 29, pleaded not guilty in a court appearance this week in U.S. District Court and was released from custody. He faces six counts of health care fraud and six of wire fraud for the claims made to Humana, a Louisville, Ky., insurance company. Long was co-owner and operator of Arcadia Recovery Center in Payson and Arcadia Residential Treatment in Bluffdale. He allegedly emailed lists of services rendered to a third-party ...

Ohio man forges employment form to steal workers comp
January 13, 2017, Columbus, OH -- A Columbus man pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud Monday after his case was delayed for two years because he was in a Pennsylvania prison for violating his probation in a separate and unrelated criminal matter. Tony R. Harn pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to one count of workers’ compensation fraud and one count of theft, both misdemeanors of the first degree, in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A judge ordered Harn to pay $12,861 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and sentenced him to 180 days in jail on each count. The judge then suspended ...

Osteo doc peddles painkillers for Dallas pill mill
January 13, 2017, Dallas, TX -- Dr. Richard Andrews, 64, of Dallas, who was an owner and the sole supervising physician at the McAllen Medical Clinic located on South Hampton in Dallas, appeared in federal court this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater and pleaded guilty to two conspiracy offenses stemming from his involvement in a “pill mill” operation, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. Specifically, Andrews, a doctor of osteopathy, pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (oxycodone) and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. While each count ...

Takata Corporation agrees to plead guilty and pay $1 billion in criminal penalties for airbag scheme
January 13, 2017, Lansing, MI -- Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. An indictment was also unsealed charging three Takata executives with wire fraud and conspiracy in relation to the same conduct. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Chief Andrew Weissmann of the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office ...

Ex-county commissioner sentenced to up to 4 years in prison for $1.5M in Medicaid fraud
January 13, 2017, Lincoln County, NV -- Pharmacist and former Lincoln County Commissioner Adam Katschke was sentenced to 12-48 months in prison for committing $1.5 million in insurance and Medicaid fraud between November 2013 and April 2015. Court documents allege that Katschke, the owner of Meadow Valley Pharmacy in Caliente, fraudulently billed medicaid for prescriptions and products that were never given to Medicaid recipients. In August 2016, Katsche took a plea deal where face up to four years in prison in exchange to pleading guilty to two felony charges: insurance fraud and submitting false Medicaid claims. Katsche also must pay $1.5 million in restitution to all affected insurance companies. Nevada ...

Family-owned ambulance company to pay $12.7 million to resolve false claims allegations
January 13, 2017, Boston, MA -- The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Medstar Ambulance, Inc., four of its subsidiaries, and its two owners, Nicholas and Gregory Melehov, have agreed to pay $12.7 million to resolve allegations concerning inflated Medicare claims for ambulance transports. “Our office is committed to finding and eradicating Medicare fraud wherever it occurs,” said United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz. “While we recognize that Medicare does and should pay for medically necessary ambulance services, it is our job to ensure that ambulance providers do not take advantage of the system or the patients. This settlement is part of the office’s ongoing effort to stamp out ...

Paramedic pleads guilty to tampering with drugs
January 13, 2017, Tulsa, OK -- Sara Nicole Hogsett, 26, plead guilty to Tampering with Consumer Products, announced Danny C. Williams Sr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma. United States District Court Judge James H. Payne will sentence Hogsett on April 26, 2017. From April 2016 to May 2016, Hogsett, a paramedic, took pain medication: fentanyl, morphine and diazepam, from her assigned ambulances by removing the liquid drugs from their vials. Hogsett used the drugs on herself and replaced the removed liquid with saline solution. Agents from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confronted Hogsett about the vials and she admitted to ...

Plymouth County district attorney's office continues fight against auto insurance fraud
January 13, 2017, Plymouth County, MA -- The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office has been awarded $50,000 from the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, and in coordination with the Commissioner of Insurance, to fight automobile insurance fraud in Brockton and Plymouth County, District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today. The Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (the “IFB”), created the Community Insurance Fraud Initiative, which consists of specialized taskforces with local law enforcement agencies in the communities of Brockton, Boston, Chelsea, Fall River/New Bedford, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Randolph, Revere, Springfield/Holyoke and Worcester. The taskforces join IFB investigators, local police, District Attorney’s Offices, the Attorney General and insurance company investigators ...

Agent in Ark. gets 5 years in prison for stealing policy funds
January 12, 2017, Fort Smith, AR -- Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Samuel Bowron Phillips, age 41 of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was sentenced yesterday to 60 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count each of Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering; the sentences are to run concurrent with each other. Phillips was ordered to pay approximately $1,600,000 in restitution to his victims. The Honorable Chief Judge P. K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith. According to court records, Phillips devised and executed ...