Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter – February 15, 2024

ZIFL Volume 28, Issue 4

Post 4735

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The Source for the Insurance Fraud Professional

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Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter (ZIFL) continues its 28th year of publication dedicated to those involved in reducing the effect of insurance fraud. ZIFL is published 24 times a year by ClaimSchool and is written by Barry Zalma.  It is provided FREE to anyone who visits the site at

The current issue can be read in full at and includes the following articles:

Do the Crime, Serve the Time

Chutzpah: After Pleading Guilty Fraudster Tried to Reduce his Sentence by an Appeal

After pleading guilty, Armando Valdes appealed his 60-month sentence for health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347. Valdes’s conviction and sentence arose out of his scheme to submit millions of dollars in fraudulent medical claims to United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield for intravenous infusions of Infliximab, an expensive immunosuppressive drug. These infusions, purportedly given to patients at Valdes’s medical clinic, Gasiel Medical Services (“Gasiel”), were either not provided or were medically unnecessary.

In United States Of America v. Armando Valdes, No. 22-12837, United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (December 19, 2023) was not convinced of his many arguments against the sentence imposed by the District Court.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at

More McClenny Moseley & Associates Issues

This is ZIFL’s twenty fourth installment of the saga of McClenny, Moseley & Associates and its problems with the federal courts in the State of Louisiana and what appears to be an effort to profit from what some Magistrate and District judges indicate may be criminal conduct to profit from insurance claims relating to hurricane damage to the public of the state of Louisiana.

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California Insurance Commissioner Lara Issues Consumer Fraud Alert As Flood Recovery Begins In San Diego County

Following the recent flooding in San Diego which damaged and destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses, and vehicles, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara put the Department of Insurance on alert for potential fraud and illegal actions targeting flood victims. The Department has received reports from San Diego consumers of public adjusters approaching them immediately after the recent floods. The Department has posted “Don’t Get Scammed After a Disaster” tips in English and Spanish urging consumers not to rush into decisions and to report any suspected illegal actions by contractors or public adjusters.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at

Health Insurance Fraud Convictions

Guilty in Arkansas

Shaona Mizell, 52, of Paragould, Arkansas. in Pulaski County Circuit Court on January 23, Mizell pleaded guilty to Medicaid Fraud, a class A misdemeanor.

Mizell was a personal care aide who billed Medicaid for several months of care that she did not provide. She was sentenced to one year of probation, a $200 fine and payment of $3,331.38 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at

Arson and Restitution


A fire at a residential property destroyed several structures and made nearly all of the owner’s personal property unsalvageable. M.W. pleaded guilty to first degree reckless burning for his role in starting the fire. The trial court ordered M.W. to pay over $1 million in restitution. In State Of Washington v. M.W., No. 85908-1-I, Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1 (January 29, 2024) the court resolved the issue.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at

New Book Now Available from Barry Zalma

Property Investigation Checklists: Uncovering Insurance Fraud, 14th Edition provides detailed guidance and practical information on the four primary areas of any investigation of suspicious claims. Available at the Insurance Claims Library –

Other Insurance Fraud Convictions

Kentucky Farmer Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar Crop Insurance Fraud Scheme

David Manion, a farmer from Simpson County, Kentucky, has confessed to orchestrating a fraudulent scheme that defrauded the federal government’s crop insurance program out of millions of dollars. This marks Manion’s second conviction related to crop insurance fraud within ten years, highlighting a recurring pattern of deceitful activities aimed at exploiting agricultural support programs.

Manion’s admission of guilt can after charges filed in November, accusing him of making false statements on crop insurance applications from 2016 to 2022. This fraudulent activity resulted in a staggering $3.5 million loss to the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., according to the plea agreement. The USDOJ is seeking a prison sentence and restitution totaling $3.5 million from Manion, alongside an additional $5,498,023 to settle other disputes.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at 

Insurance Fraud Attempt Defeated


The following 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.

Read the full article in Adobe pdf format at

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 55 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.

(c) 2024 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.

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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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