Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter – 10-15-2022

ZIFL – 10/15/2022

See the full video at  and at

You can read all 18 pages of Volume 26 Issue 2o here.

Short teases about the articles in this issue can be read at ZIFL-10-15-2022 

  1. Ethics & Insurance Fraud
    1. Insurance fraud is a crime in most jurisdictions. In California it is a felony subject to five years in prison upon conviction. By definition a person who commits the crime of insurance fraud is not acting ethically. In State v. Whitaker, 175 P.3d 136, 117 Hawai=i 26 (Haw. App. 12/31/2007) Whitaker, after presenting a claim to his insurer, was indicted, convicted, and sentenced for Insurance Fraud in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) ‘ 431:10C‑307.7(a)(1) and (b)(2) (2005), and Attempted Theft in the Second Degree (Attempted Theft 2) in violation of HRS ‘ 708‑831(1)(b) (Supp. 2000) and HRS ‘ 705‑500 (1993).
  2. RICO Judgment Allows Disgorgement Damages
    1. Fraudsters Must Disgorge Profits of Crime – In Diane Creel and Lynn Creel v. Dr. Says, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 4:18-CV-00615, United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division (September 27, 2022) the plaintiffs obtained a verdict against Defendants Dr. Yupo Jesse Chang; MD Reliance, Inc.; Universal Physicians, PA; Dr. Says, LLC; Office Winsome, LLC; and Yung Husan Yao (aka Angela Yao) for violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”) and RICO conspiracy. The Court, after the verdict, needs to enter its findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding equitable disgorgement.
  3. New California Fraud Statutes
    1. SB 1040, authored by Senator Susan Rubio, authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to order restitution from persons who sell insurance without the necessary license from the Department of Insurance, including “extended vehicle warranties” sold illegally through robocalls and misappropriation of consumers’ and businesses’ premiums, among other insurance scams.

  4. Good News From the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
    1. Dead patients couldn’t stop Thomas G. O’Lear from billing taxpayers $3.7M for fraudulent X-rays in the Indianapolis area. O’Lear ran a portable-X-ray firm that zapped patients in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. He billed for thousands of X-rays that he and his business did not perform. That included 151 X-rays on dates after the patients had died. He also billed Medicare and Medicaid for services at nursing facilities on dates when patients were either hospitalized and not on-site at the facilities. O’Lear took multiple X-rays in one visit and falsely claimed that each was done on a different day, requiring separate reimbursement for transporting the portable equipment on each date. And he falsely billed for multiple images of patients when only one image was done — thus requiring a higher reimbursement. O’Lear covered up his scheme by forging medical records, falsifying X-ray images and forging signatures of his employees and the doc he said had ordered X-rays.
  5. Insurer Takes the Profit out of Fraud
    1. Insured’s Suit for Fire Insurance Benefits Defeated by Qui Tam Claim by Insurer

      In Lisa A. McCullough v. Metlife Auto & Home, No. 4:20-CV-01807, United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania (September 30, 2022) McCullough sued seeking to force MetLife to pay Plaintiff for an insurance policy on the McCullough’s home, which was destroyed in a fire in 2019.

  6. A Resource for the Insurance Professional
    1. After practicing insurance law for over five decades, Barry Zalma, an internationally recognized and award-winning insurance expert and author, is releasing multiple education books on The publications are designed to inform claims people, special investigation unit investigators, coverage lawyers, plaintiffs’ bad faith lawyers, insurance management and the insurance buying public on insurance claims procedures and insurance fraud. Each resource leverages key insights and learnings from Zalma’s 55+ years of practical experience as a claims person and insurance coverage attorney.
    1. Insured’s Suit for Fire Insurance Benefits Defeated by Qui Tam Claim by Insurer == In Lisa A. McCullough v. Metlife Auto & Home, No. 4:20-CV-01807, United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania (September 30, 2022) McCullough sued seeking to force MetLife to pay Plaintiff for an insurance policy on the McCullough’s home, which was destroyed in a fire in 2019.
  8. Health Insurance Fraud Convictions
    1. Doctor Admits Illegally Prescribing 120,000 Opioid Pills — Dr. Dzung Ahn Pham of Tustin, California pleaded guilty to writing prescriptions for more than 120,000 opioid pills over a six-year span, including to an impaired driver who struck and killed a bicyclist. In his plea agreement, Dr. Pham admitted distributing the pills without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash and insurance payments. He pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the Orange County Register reported. Pham faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 6, 2023.
  9. Other Insurance Fraud Convictions
    1. Onetime Brewery Owner and Financial Advisor Found Guilty of Murdering Client for Life Insurance Benefits — Keith Todd Ashley, 50, was found guilty by federal jurors in the Eastern District of Texas on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and bank fraud. Ashley, a North Texas man was found guilty of several fraud-related felonies in federal court earlier this week. Prosecutors say the frauds were part of a wide-ranging series of crimes that eventually came to include a murder and coverup orchestrated to obtain life insurance benefits.

Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business. He is available at and

Over the last 54 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.

Barry Zalma, Inc., 4441 Sepulveda Boulevard, CULVER CITY CA 90230-4847, 310-390-4455;

Subscribe to Zalma on Insurance at Subscribe to Excellence in Claims Handling at Write to Mr. Zalma at;;; I publish daily articles at, Go to the podcast Zalma On Insurance at; Follow Mr. Zalma on Twitter at; Go to Barry Zalma videos at at


About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims handling author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and court room experience.
This entry was posted in Zalma on Insurance. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.