California School Employee Arraigned for Workers’ Comp Fraud After Virus Diagnosis

Stephanie Medrano, 33, of West Covina, Calif., was arraigned on Tuesday on multiple counts of grand theft and insurance fraud after allegedly making misrepresentations following a COVID-19 diagnosis in an attempt to collect more than $33,000 in undeserved workers’ compensation insurance benefits.

The California Department of Insurance launched an investigation after receiving a claim of suspected fraud from Medrano’s employer, the Baldwin Park Unified School District, on Aug. 21, 2020. The investigation reportedly revealed Medrano made multiple misrepresentations in order to extend a workers’ comp claim submitted to her employer after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

California Construction Worker Charged with Workers’ Comp Fraud

Jose Zepeda, 45, of Fresno, Calif., self-surrendered this week on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and attempted perjury after filing a workers’ compensation insurance claim and allegedly misleading the insurance carrier regarding his employment status in order to collect disability benefits he was not entitled to receive.

According to an investigation by the California Department of Insurance, Zepeda was injured in August 2017 while employed by a local construction company. Zepeda began collecting disability benefits because his employer could not accommodate his work restrictions. The insurance company handling Zepeda’s workers’ comp claim reportedly instructed him to notify them if he found new employment because that would affect the benefits he was receiving.

California COVID-19 Benefits Fraud, Cyber Attack Could Reach $9.8B

California may have paid out nearly $10 billion in phony coronavirus unemployment claims – more than double the previous estimate – with some of that money going to organized crime in Russia, China and other countries, according to a security firm hired to investigate the fraud.

At least 10% of claims submitted to the state Employment Development Department before controls were installed in October may have been fraudulent, Blake Hall, founder and CEO of ID.me told the Los Angeles Times.

The Times said that would work out to $9.8 billion of the benefits paid from March through September.

California Co-Workers Charged for Insurance Fraud and Arson

Co-workers Rajdeep Singh, 35, of Rocklin, Calif., and David Bailey, Jr., 29, of Sacramento, were arrested on multiple counts of insurance fraud and arson after allegedly conspiring to commit vehicular arson in order to receive an undeserved insurance payout of over $30,000.

The Sacramento Fire Department on June 24 responded to a vehicle fire in a parking lot and identified the vehicle as a 2016 Honda Pilot. The morning of the fire, the registered owner’s son, Singh, arrived on the scene and claimed the vehicle had been stolen while he was working at his job, Primetime Autos, a used car dealership where he worked as a finance manager.

California Psychologist And Doctor Charged With Fraudulent Workers’ Comp Evaluations

A California psychologist and doctor have been charged for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance claims for workers’ compensation medical legal evaluations in an attempt to steal tens of thousands of dollars from multiple insurers.

Psychologist Danita Stewart, 51, of Chatsworth, a licensed psychologist, allegedly submitted 36 fraudulent insurance claims between April 2015 and June 2015 to five different insurers for medical legal evaluations for a total of $90,714.

California Man Nabbed for Collecting Workers’ Comp from Multiple Insurers While Working

Michael Williams, 34, of Daly City, Calif., has been arrested on 21 felony counts of insurance fraud and grand theft after allegedly working for multiple employers while collecting over $85,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from two different insurers.

In November 2014, Williams was reportedly working as an electrician when he sustained a work-related injury. He filed a workers’ comp claim with the State Compensation Insurance Fund and began collecting temporary workers’ comp benefits.

California Brothers Nabbed in Staged Auto Accident Ring Involving 20 Others

A two-year investigation has netted 22 suspects in an auto fraud ring in California that cost insurers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Brothers Angel Topete, 36, and Joshua Topete, 34, both of San Martin, Calif., were arrested on numerous felony charges for allegedly running an organized auto insurance fraud scam involving more than 20 individuals and 18 staged collisions netting conspirators $210,000 in fraudulent auto insurance claims.

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