Fraud News Around the Nation

July 21, 2016
Florida Governor Suspends Mayor After Insurance Fraud Charge

Gov. Rick Scott has suspended from office the mayor of the central Florida city of Tavares after he was charged with insurance fraud.

Scott issued the executive order on Thursday, one day after Mayor Robert Wolfe was arrested on the third-degree felony charge. Prosecutors say Wolfe filed false insurance claims for $9,300 regarding damage to his home, including a phony claim that he had to vacate the home during repairs.

Wolfe turned himself in to the Lake County Jail Wednesday night and was later released on bail. Court records don’t indicate whether he has hired an attorney and Wolfe did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Wolfe has been mayor of Tavares since 2009.

Judge Orders Washington Woman to Repay Nearly $25,000 in Workers’ Comp Scam

A Federal Way, Wash., woman who worked full time as a nanny while claiming she was too disabled to work pleaded guilty Monday to felony theft.

Yurizan Cuevas was ordered to repay the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) $24,847, the amount she received in wage-replacement payments over a period of almost two years. King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller also sentenced Cuevas to 20 days in jail, which was converted to 160 hours of community service.

Cuevas was a baker and cashier at a cafe in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle when it was robbed in November 2010. While running from the robber, she hit a wall and injured her back.

Health care providers verified Cuevas couldn’t work because of injuries from the incident, allowing her to receive wage-replacement payments from L&I.

An L&I investigation later found that Cuevas worked as a nanny for nearly two years while stating on official forms that she was unable to work because of her injuries.

“Workers’ compensation is intended to help employees heal from on-the-job injuries so they can return to work,” said Annette Taylor, deputy assistant director in L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards. “People like Ms. Cuevas who try to game the system are cheating their employers and fellow employees.

Cuevas, who’s also known as Yurizan Cuevas Nava, pleaded guilty at the hearing this week to second-degree theft.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case based on an L&I investigation.

The Associated Press contributed content.

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