March 22, 2018

NY Man Sentenced for Stealing Deceased Woman’s Workers’ Comp Benefits

Buffalo, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced the sentencing of a City of Buffalo man responsible for stealing more than $3,500 in Workers’ Compensation benefits meant for the woman he previously lived with and cared for but who had actually passed away two years earlier. Michael Barton, 58, of Ada Place, Buffalo, was sentenced in Buffalo City Court Monday afternoon to three years of probation for his prior guilty plea to Petit Larceny. At the court appearance, Barton…[Continue Reading]

NY Man Sentenced for Nearly $10k in Workers’ Comp Fraud

Buffalo, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the sentencing of a City of Buffalo man who defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system of nearly $10,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled because he had returned to work but continued collecting benefits as if he was not employed. Arnold Fassbinder, 55, of Royal Avenue, Buffalo, was sentenced in Erie County Court to a three-year conditional discharge, including the condition he repay the entire amount he stole…[Continue Reading]

$1 Million Workers’ Comp Scam Leads to the Arrest of FL Roofing Company Owners

Miami, FL – Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis recently announced the recent arrest of Jose Esmelin Martinez and Uzziel Isaias Jaramillo, owners of Esmelin Corporation aka as Esmelin Roofing Contractor (ERC). Martinez and Jaramillo allegedly concealed nearly $1.2 million in payroll on their workers’ compensation policy renewal application in an alleged attempt to illegally lower their premium costs. “Florida will not be the state where criminals come to defraud the workers’ compensation system…[Continue Reading]

KY Gov. Bevin Announces Launch of Site to Connect Kentuckians to Opioid Abuse Treatment Centers

Frankfort, KY – Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced a new tool in Kentucky’s fight against the opioid epidemic. allows users to search in real-time for a local substance use disorder (SUD) treatment center and will be promoted as part of the Governor’s ‘Don’t Let Them Die’ campaign, which seeks to bring awareness to the opioid crisis. “Kentucky is stepping up, ready to lead the nation as we address the opioid problem that plagues so many,” said Gov. Bevin. “We must all work together to solve this…[Continue Reading]

Central Ohio Man Convicted of Work Comp Fraud

Columbus, OH – A Lancaster man must pay the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation nearly $7,000 in restitution after recently pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud for a scheme that could land his girlfriend in court as well. Charles Malone, 43, worked for a heating and air conditioning company for six months in 2016 while simultaneously collecting injured worker benefits from BWC. To hide his employment, he duped his employer into issuing his paychecks to his girlfriend in her name. “He gave his employer…[Continue Reading]

Ohio BWC Secures Three Convictions in January

Columbus, OH – A funeral home worker and two cleaning company owners owe the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation $30,000 after pleading guilty to workers’ compensation fraud or related charges in January, the bureau’s first convictions of the new year. “It’s thanks to honest citizens who report suspected fraud that we’re able to investigate many of our cases and stop this criminal activity in its tracks,” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department…[Continue Reading]

Former CA School Janitor Sentenced for Felony Insurance Fraud

Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office recently announced that Marcus Kelly pled no contest to felony insurance fraud. The Honorable Lawrence Brown sentenced Kelly to 30 days in county jail, 5 years formal probation and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $40,097.40. Kelly was employed by the Sacramento City Unified School District as a janitor. On September 9, 2014, he reported he had an unwitnessed slip-and-fall at work, resulting in reported back…[Continue Reading]

LWC Releases 2016 Louisiana Work-Related Fatalities Data

Baton Rouge, LA – While the number of work-related fatalities in the U.S. surged from 4,836 in 2015 to 5,190 in 2016, Louisiana’s number of work-related fatalities decreased in 2016, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The number of work-related fatalities in 2016 in Louisiana was 95, compared to 112 in 2015. The state’s fatal injury rate in 2016 also decreased to 5.0 from 5.8 in 2015, per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Both the number…[Continue Reading]

NC DOL: Struck-By Incidents Lead Work-Related Deaths

Raleigh, NC – Struck-by incidents followed by falls caused the largest number of work-related deaths statewide in 2017 based on preliminary information released today by the state Department of Labor. Struck-by incidents accounted for 14 work-related deaths while falls accounted for 13. There were 40 total work-related fatalities that fell under the jurisdiction of NCDOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Division in 2017, 10 fewer than there were in 2016. “These are not just statistics on a page…[Continue Reading]

Honduran Citizen Indicted for Scheme to Employ Undocumented Aliens, Evasion of Workers’ Comp Laws

Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez recently announced the return of an indictment charging Oscar Arnelson Rodriguez-Cruz (40, Orlando) with multiple counts of wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. Rodriguez-Cruz is a Honduran citizen who is illegally present in the United States. The indictment also notifies Rodriguez-Cruz that the United States intends to seek forfeiture of approximately $626,817, the amount of proceeds obtained…[Continue Reading]

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