Maryland Reports 77 Charged With Insurance Fraud in 2017, $466,000 in Fines and Penalties
The Maryland Insurance Administration continues to partner with federal, state and local government agencies, insurance carriers and producers to investigate and prosecute individuals and businesses for committing insurance fraud. For the calendar year 2017, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. authorized civil orders and criminal charges totaling $466,261 in fines, penalties and restitution. Insurance fraud is one of the most costly crimes in the country, costing consumers directly in the form of higher premiums.
“Our Insurance Fraud Division continues to investigate all tips regarding suspected civil and criminal insurance fraud,” said Commissioner Redmer. “We want Marylanders to know they can and should call us if they suspect insurance fraud. All tips are confidential and we follow up on each lead. The bad actors need to be held accountable for their actions.”
Over 40 individuals were ordered to pay $200,514 in administrative penalties and restitution for committing civil insurance fraud in Maryland. Additionally, the investigative work of the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration led to 37 people being criminally prosecuted for committing insurance fraud, resulting in $265,747 in fines, penalties and restitution.
LAPD Officer Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud
A Los Angeles, Calif., police officer is set to be arraigned this week on one felony count each of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and attempted perjury under oath, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Arunas Sodonis of the Healthcare Fraud Division said Jason Gordon went on workers’ compensation leave for an on-the-job injury at the Los Angeles Police Department but later was found to be engaged in certain physical activities over several months in 2016. Gordon then allegedly lied under oath in a deposition, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor is recommending bail be set at $40,000. Gordon faces up to five years, six months in state prison, which could be served in local custody, if convicted as charged.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Operations Division, Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit.
California Man Charged With Felony Insurance Fraud
On May 21, 2015, Sarkis Varpetyan was driving on Sunrise Boulevard when he suddenly hit his brakes for no reason, causing the car behind to rear-end his vehicle. Several witnesses stated that it appeared Varpetyan intentionally caused the accident. On June 11, 2015, Varpetyan filed an insurance claim stating he had come to a stop because of traffic and was not liable for
the accident. The claim was ultimately denied based on the witness statements and the California Highway Patrol report that found Varpetyan to be at fault for the accident.
Varpetyan pled no contest to felony insurance fraud and was sentenced to 180 days in county jail, 3 years formal probation and ordered him to pay $43, 527.83 in restitution ($5,485.86 to Farmers Insurance and $38,041.97 to State Farm).
This case was prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit.