Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter – September 1, 2022

Volume 26, Issue 17 – September 1, 2022

The issue, available as a 25 page .pdf document here ZIFL-09-01-2022

See the full video at https://rumble.com/v1i44c7-zalmas-insurance-fraud-letter-september-1-2022.html  and at https://youtu.be/75WWxAt2UU0

The issue includes articles including:

Public Adjuster Firm Accused of Pocketing $600,000 in Insurer Payouts in 2 States

Andrew Joseph Mitchell, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, who reported that a public adjusting firm that was sanctioned last month by Louisiana regulators has pocketed more than $300,000 in insurer payouts intended for Texas property owners.

Michigan Allows Fraudster to Receive PIP Benefits but no UM/UIM Benefits

Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of defendants Home-Owners Insurance Company (“Home-Owners”), American Country Insurance Company (ACIC), and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company (“Hartford”), with respect to plaintiff’s claims for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits and first-party personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits under the no-fault act, MCL 500.3101 et seq. Although defendants disputed their priority to pay PIP benefits, the trial court did not decide the priority issue, but instead dismissed all claims on the basis of antifraud provisions in defendants’ respective policies.

In Jonathan Jones v. Home-Owners Insurance Company, American Country Insurance Company, And Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, and Sharneta Henderson, No. 355118, Court of Appeals of Michigan (August 18, 2022) the Court of Appeal produced a Solomon-like decision.

The Law Applies to Thee but not to Me – Insurance Fraud Pays in New York

Oneatha Swinton, the former acting principal of Port Richmond High school in Staten Island, New York, convicted of car insurance fraud kept her employment with the New York Department of Education – and even got a raise – despite what school investigators called her “pattern of dishonesty.”

The DOE gave Swinton, a deal to stay on despite the criminal conviction plus findings that she improperly funneled $100,000 in school funds to a vendor, and “failed to safeguard” 600 DOE computers, printers and laptops which vanished under her watch.

California Claims Regulations

Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations 2022

If You Haven’t Complied by Today You are in Violation

Insurers licensed or operating in California must ascertain that their entire claims staff has read, understood or be trained about the California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations by September 1 of Each Year and be ready to swear under oath that the Regulation has been complied with by the insurer.

Before Electing to Rescind

Bases for Rescission

The primary bases for rescission are:

  1. misrepresentation or material fact(s),
  2. concealment of material fact(s),
  3. mistake of material fact(s),
  4. mistake of law, or
  5. fraud.

New York StateWide Senior Action Council Announces It’s Medicare Fraud of the Month

Telemedicine Fraud.

“Telemedicine Fraud, often called Telehealth Fraud is a growing trend in Medicare. The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for how patients accessed health care with the need for social isolation leading to an explosion in remote Telemedicine care,” stated Maria Alvarez, Executive Director of StateWide in announcing this month’s Medicare Fraud of the Month.

The StateWide Fraud of the Month is a component of the Senior Medical Patrol, the definitive resource for New York State’s senior citizens and caregivers to help detect, prevent, and report Medicare fraud and waste. StateWide is New York’s grantee/administrator for this Federal Program.

Good News From the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

Ricky Gonzales ran Ricky’s Construction Company, which supplied construction labor for contractors. The Tampa, Fla.-area man lied he paid workers’ compensation for the laborers he provided — who were undocumented immigrants. The contractors then sent Gonzales what they thought were payroll checks. Gonzales cashed the checks at banks to pay the workers. Gonzales lied that employees had full worker’s comp. In truth, he received and cashed more than $7M of checks from construction contractors for his employees. That far exceeded the limited payroll that Gonzales reported to his comp insurer. His employees thus worked at job sites without adequate insurance coverage. The insurers lost premiums they would’ve charged had they known the true number of workers their policies were being manipulated to cover. Gonzalez also illegally avoided state and federal payroll taxes. He pled federally guilty and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced.

And many more convictions.

Health Insurance Fraud Convictions

South Bay Chiropractor Sentenced to Prison for Receiving Kickbacks

A Redondo Beach chiropractor was sentenced to 14 months in prison for soliciting kickbacks from other hospitals. (Shutterstock)

Brian Carrico, 68, of Redondo Beach, was sentenced August 26, 2022 to 14 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who also ordered him to pay a fine of $25,000.

The South Bay chiropractor was sentenced for taking kickbacks from Pacific Hospital — a medical center in Long Beach whose then-owner was later imprisoned — and for soliciting kickbacks from another Southern California hospital. Carrico pleaded guilty in February to one count of soliciting kickbacks — the same day his two Redondo Beach-based companies, Performance Medical & Rehab Center Inc. and One Accord Management Inc. — each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit kickbacks.

And dozens more convictions.

Zalma on Insurance at Locals.com

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Florida Sting Operation Busted 13 Contractors Without Workers’ Comp

In an attempt to save the few remaining insurers doing business in Florida, the state has taken aim at unlicensed contractors who some claim have increased the cost of repair to property in Florida.

Other Insurance Fraud Convictions

Florida Staffing Firm Head Sentenced to 24 Years for Off-Book Labor Scheme

Mykhaylo Chugay from 2007 to 2021 according to federal prosecutors said, operated a number of shady staffing companies in south Florida that avoided paying more than $25 million in federal taxes. Last week, a federal judge sentenced Chugay to 24 years in prison for his June conviction on crimes that included fraud, harboring illegal aliens and money laundering, according to prosecutors and news reports.  Plus many more convictions.

Insurance Fraud in the U.K.

On August 25, 20200 the Association of British Insurers and the Insurance Fraud Bureau Announced:

  • The number and cost of fraudulent claims fell in 2021, but the average scam uncovered at a record level of over £12,000.
  • Motor insurance claim fraud still the most common insurance con.

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

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 http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

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 locals.com https://zalmaoninsurance.local.com/subscribe. Subscribe to Excellence in Claims Handling at https://barryzalma.substack.com/welcome. Write to Mr. Zalma at zalma@zalma.com; http://www.zalma.com; http://zalma.com/blog; I publish daily articles at https://zalma.substack.com, Go to the podcast Zalma On Insurance at https://anchor.fm/barry-zalma; Follow Mr. Zalma on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bzalma; Go to Barry Zalma videos at Rumble.com at https://rumble.com/c/c-262921

 

 

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.
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