Life Insurance Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Insurance Fraud by Board & Care Facility

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This is a Fictionalized True Crime Story of Insurance Fraud from an Expert who explains why Insurance Fraud is a “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” situation for Insurers.  Insurance Fraud in America is Costing Everyone who Buys Insurance Thousands of Dollars Every year and Why Insurance Fraud is Safer and More Profitable for the ­­­Perpetrators than any Other Crime.

The Hungarian owned and operated a board and care facility for the aging in Carson City, Nevada. He brought his younger brother over from Hungary in 1975 to help him in the business. It was only a twenty-bed facility and with little help, the two could manage the entire business.

The oldest brother was the thinker. He got an honorary PhD from the New World Society of Abundant Consciousness that ran a school in the desert just north of Pahrump, Nevada. After receiving his honorary degree for a donation of $15,000, he insisted on the title doctor.

The doctor had no training in any field. He had a high school diploma and had operated several restaurants before buying the board and care facility. He believed that the title conferred on him the right to prescribe medicine, to give psychological advice, and to do anything he pleased. He would get drugs for his patients from other than legitimate sources. He would bill their insurers as if they were prescription drugs prescribed by a staff physician.

His younger brother maintained the facility, cooked the meals for the residents, doubled as a nurse and ran the business. The doctor acted like royalty.

Since the small business required both to work if it was to make a profit, the business began to deteriorate. Cash flow was minimal. Patient services became almost nonexistent. The doctor skimmed as much money into his pocket as he could and keep the patients alive. Neither he nor his brother drew anything much more than subsistence monies from the business.

The dedicated younger brother made the business work. He began to cut personal corners. First, he decided to drop a $100,000 life insurance policy. With the reduced earnings of the business, he could not afford to pay the premium.

The doctor, who used the same insurance agent, was told of the intent of the brother to cancel. The doctor asked the agent to keep the policy in effect without his brother’s knowledge. The doctor would pay the premium as a business expense of the board and care facility.

The agent, not wishing to lose his commission, agreed and kept the policy in force, accepting premium payments from the doctor.

The younger brother suffered from severe hypertension. His controlled the disease by diet and medications. He trusted his older brother. He thought his older brother was wise and knowledgeable. He thought his older brother had, at least, the same level of expertise as any physician and trusted his brother more than a physician.

After the doctor had paid the first monthly premium on the life insurance policy, he explained to his brother that the hypertension drugs prescribed for him were dangerous. He told his younger brother that he had in the inventory of the board and care facility drugs that were more effective. Since they were in the stock of the facility the doctor could give them to his brother at no cost. The brother stopped taking his prescribed medicine and started taking the drugs given him by his brother. The doctor did not tell his brother that the drugs contained digitalis. Digitalis is a drug that, although useful in reducing chest pains in people with heart conditions, is poisonous in the amounts the doctor told his brother to take. It is even more poisonous to a person with hypertension.

Within two weeks of taking his brother’s drugs, the younger brother was found by his wife apparently dead, on his kitchen floor. Paramedics arrived and immediately began CPR. Because she did not know what to do after calling the paramedics, the wife called her brother-in-law. He arrived at the scene about the same time as the paramedics. He was hysterical and interfered with the paramedics. They had to forcibly remove him from his brother so they could perform CPR. They put the brother in an ambulance and began racing toward the emergency hospital with red lights and siren. The doctor followed and almost sideswiped the ambulance twice. They called for police help on their radio. A Pahrump police officer pulled the doctor off to the side of the road and restrained him for sufficient time to allow the ambulance to arrive at the hospital.

They could not revive the younger brother. They pronounced him dead one hour after arrival at the hospital. The doctor convinced the wife there should be no autopsy. His brother, her husband, had a severe heart condition that was well documented. He explained that there should be no reason to cut his body to satisfy a local ordinance.

The doctor convinced the brother’s family physician to sign the death certificate showing the cause of death as a heart attack. The family physician did so without evidence of such a heart attack. The family physician had not even seen the deceased within six months of his death. The family physician clearly violated the law. He thought the death certificate would help the family who appeared adamantly against the invasive procedures of an autopsy.

The widow was not an intelligent woman. She had limited education in her country of birth, Hungary. She could barely read or write the English language and spoke it with a thick accent. She relied totally on her brother-in-law. He handled the disposition of her husband’s estate. She signed whatever papers he put before her.

One paper he put in front of her was a claim form making claim on the life insurance policy. The claim form did not use the sister-in-law’s address but, rather, a P.O. box held in secret by the doctor. The insurance company, presented with an appropriate claim form signed by the widow and what appeared to be a proper death certificate, immediately issued its check for $100,000 plus interest, made payable to the widow, the sole beneficiary named in the policy.

The doctor received the check. He signed the widow’s name to it and deposited the money in his account. He used the money to pay the debts of the board and care facility and to buy a new home for himself on five acres of desert property outside Pahrump. The widow was left with nothing but debts. She sold the home she and her husband lived in since arriving in the U.S. After paying a commission to the realtor and the funeral expenses she had only $1,000 left. Her brother-in-law loaned her $10,000 which she used to buy some secondhand furniture and move into a small apartment. She met a blackjack dealer at a casino and married him so she would have some means of support.

The doctor lived in luxury for a year off the proceeds and then began planning his next insurance fraud. He has no other brothers to kill, so he decided to obtain life insurance on the residents of the board and care facility none of whom had a long life expediency.

Adapted from my book “Insurance Fraud Costs Everyone” Available as a Kindle Book and Available as a Paperback from

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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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