Palm Beach County Business Owner Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud

According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Vanessa Arreguin, owner of V&G Concrete, Inc. was arrested in August for three felony counts of concealing payroll to avoid workers’ compensation premiums and two felony counts of application fraud. Arreguin claimed she made less than $50,000 will conducting more than $7.5 million in business to avoid paying $51,000 in workers’ compensation.

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis said, “Last year alone, our fraud detectives made more than 400 arrests for workers’ compensation fraud and I can assure you my office will continue to hold these individuals accountable.” Arreguin could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the press release.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud, Uncategorized

NICB Predicts Insurance Fraud will Rise with Frequency of Weather-Related Events

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) predicts a rise in fraudulent claims as weather-related events increase in frequency and size. A study done by the NICB revealed that approximately 10% of insurance claims are fraudulent. Another study fielded by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (PIFPA) Pennsylvania residents have limited knowledge of what is classified as insurance fraud and even fewer know that it is considered a felony. Insurance fraud, as well as workers’ comp fraud, are not a victimless crime. In fact, it increases policy costs for everyone which is why the industry must proactively combat insurance fraud to prevent further damage.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Lake Mary Man Arrested for Posing As Insurance Agent

Michael Hensley of Lake Mary has been arrested for falsely presenting himself as an insurance agent and providing general liability insurance for two Seminole County businesses. This isn’t the first time Hensley’s been accused of posing as an insurance agent and stealing money from local business owners.

While Hensley’s license expired in 2015, he’s pocketed $72,000 in insurance premiums over the years. The business owners would discover that they were not covered when attempting to file a claim.

Claims for damage due to Hurricane Irma uncovered Hensley’s alleged scheme causing one business over to pay $18,000 out of pocket to fix the roof of his business due to the storm.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Clearwater Doctor Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud

Dr. Jayam Krishna Iyer of Clearwater accepted a plea agreement that will end her medical career. Iyer’s charges include defrauding Medicare by billing for treatments she never delivered and giving written prescriptions for Schedule II narcotics to relatives of patients who never actually stepped foot into her offices.

Iyer’s controversial past includes being sued for malpractice in civil court. She has also been named in death investigations involving narcotics including dilaudid, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl that she prescribed between 2003 and 2017 in Pinellas County.

Iyer will have to pay $51,000 in restitution for Medicare fraud in addition to giving up her medical career. She was facing up to 10 years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines, will get a reduced sentence in exchange for her guilty plea.

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud, Medicare

Doctor Sent To Prison For Obstructing Medicare Audit

Dr. John Janick of Port Charlotte was sentenced to five months in prison and three years of parole for lying to during a Medicare audit. Dr. Janick lied to a Medicare program integrity contractor about office space that was being utilized by his wife Lisa McLaren Janick who was found guilty of health care fraud in another related case. Mrs. Janick used the office to gain access to sensitive patient data and generate bogus patient referrals from the Janick Medical Group to her third-party employer.

Click here to read the press release.

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud, Uncategorized

Tampa Bay Roofing Insurance Scammers Busted in Connecticut

Carlton DeWayne Dunko and Frank Martin Pureber, once known for using their former company NBRC Construction in a roofing insurance scam that cheated nearly 100 Tampa Bay residents out of at least $632,000 have taken their talents to Connecticut.

After serving two years in a Florida prison and being placed on probation, Dunko and Pureber fled to Connecticut to start a similar operation, CTST Construction. Dunko was leading a sales meeting in Milford, CT when Florida fraud agents busted him. They have been found guilty of larceny and sentenced to a year in a Connecticut prison.

When Dunko and Pureber finish their Connecticut prison time, they will face trial for the alleged fraud they committed in Missouri with another roofing company, American Shingle and Siding.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

FL Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier Warns Homeowners to Protect Themselves

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued a warning to residents facing damage from Tropical Storm Gordon be careful and to make sure they fully read and understand any documents they sign in Gordon’s aftermath. Altmaier has been an outspoken critic of the ongoing assignment of benefits abuse happening in the state of Florida.

Many insurers throughout Florida have been seeing an uptick in litigation due to the inflated and fraudulent claims stemming from unlicensed contractors who have homeowners sign over their insurance policy rights in exchange for needed repairs to their homes.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also issued a warning to consumers to protect themselves against fraud and has activated the Florida Department of Financial Services Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) for the 2018 hurricane season.

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Filed under Assignment of Benefits, Property Insurance

4th DCA Finds AOB Without All Insureds’ and Mortgagees Signatures Unenforceable

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018 the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that assignment of benefits (AOB) without all insureds’ and mortgagees signatures are unenforceable. The appellate court found no problems with an insurer requiring consent from all insureds and mortgagees, which is good news at a time when AOB abuse is such a big issue in Florida.

Visit Law360 (subscription required) or Justia for more information on this ruling.

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Filed under Assignment of Benefits, Insurance, Property Insurance

Vero Beach Acupuncturist Charged with Insurance Fraud and Racketeering

Jill Jaynes of Absolute Integrated Medicine in Vero Beach has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud totaling nearly $1.5 million, racketeering and more. If Jaynes is convicted, she could face up to 135 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud, Insurance, Insurance Fraud

Former NFL Player & Coach arrested for Insurance Fraud

Marlon McCree, former Jacksonville Jaguar football player and assistant coach, has been arrested for an insurance fraud scheme totaling nearly $78,000. McCree allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices from a dental office he’d never been a patient of to his Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) with intentions of defrauding the fund. He could be facing a prison sentence up 30 years and a hefty fine if found guilty.

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Filed under Insurance, Insurance Fraud