Fraud News Around the Nation

June 20, 2016
Connecticut Bookmaker Gets Prison Time in Insurance Fraud Scheme

A bookmaker who pleaded guilty to charges he shot a gambler with a stun gun and tried to burn down a Middletown restaurant in an insurance fraud scheme is headed to prison.

The Hartford Courant reports 52-year-old John Barile of East Hartford was sentenced Tuesday to 71 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in February to charges of arson, insurance fraud, gambling and extortion.

Authorities say the East Hartford man ran an illegal sports-related bookmaking operation from 2010 to 2014. Prosecutors say he shot a gambler with a stun gun to punish him for not paying his debts.

Federal prosecutors say Barile and three others plotted to burn down a pizzeria he and a partner owned to collect an insurance payout in January 2010.

Former California Senator Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes in Workers’ Comp Fraud Scheme

Former California State Senator Ronald S. Calderon has agreed to plead guilty to a federal corruption charge and admits in a plea agreement that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator, according to an announcement by the United States Attorney for the Central District.

Calderon agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud through the deprivation of honest services to resolve a case against him that was filed in 2014. The plea agreement comes several weeks before he was set to go on trial on charges contained in a 24-count federal indictment.

“The corruption investigation of former Senator Calderon began when our detectives at the California Department of Insurance discovered evidence that Michael Drobot, then owner and CEO of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, was bribing Senator Calderon,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Detectives from the California Department of Insurance successfully investigated the scheme whereby Drobot was paying kickbacks to physicians, chiropractors and others to send him patients on which his hospital performed back surgeries — resulting in over $500 million of workers’ compensation fraud.”

In the plea agreement, Calderon admits accepting bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach hospital who wanted to prevent passage of a new law that would stop the hospital CEO from continuing to reap millions of dollars in illicit profits from a separate workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme and from undercover FBI agents who were posing as independent filmmakers who wanted changes to California’s Film Tax Credit program.

Michael Drobot, former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, a major provider of spinal surgeries billed to the workers’ compensation system, admitted to bribing the former senator to influence lawmaking and ensure he could continue to defraud workers’ compensation insurers with his lucrative criminal scheme.

Prosecutor: Man caused 12 wrecks, put videos online

A North Carolina man will spend at least a year in prison after prosecutors said he intentionally caused 12 wrecks, filming many of them on a dashboard camera and uploading the footage to the internet.

District Attorney Todd Williams said in a news release that a jury found 27-year-old Byron Fulghum guilty of six felony counts of insurance fraud, four misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Fulghum was sentenced Thursday to 12 months to 34 months in prison.

Williams says no one was seriously hurt in the 12 wrecks, which took place over three years around Asheville.

The prosecutor says Fulghum’s own video from his Ford Focus showed him intentionally turning his car into the bumpers of other vehicles.

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