Tennessee Man Arrested for Workers’ Comp Fraud in Virginia

June 11, 2008

A Tennessee trucker faces 193 charges for workers’ compensation fraud in Virginia, according to Virginia authorities.

Virginia State Police special agents detained William Douglas Pickel on May 21 as Big Sandy Federal Prison in Inez, Ky. released him after serving a sentence for Social Security Disability Insurance fraud.

Agents transported Pickel to Washington County and arrested him on 193 charges of “obtaining money by false pretense,” the statute under which insurance fraud is prosecuted.

Pickel, who lived in Blountville, Tenn., was working for Combs Trucking out of Bristol, Va., when he was involved in a traffic accident in 1994 and began drawing workers’ compensation in Virginia, VSP said. He allegedly drew the full 500 weeks of workers’ comp payments; however, the insurance company’s records only date back to 2000. The insurance company (Liberty Mutual) no longer had the canceled checks. The total approximate claim was $150,000, according to VSP.

Investigation by the VSP revealed that while Pickel was receiving workers’ compensation for his 1994 injury, he was operating a power washing business, as well as driving for another trucking company. When he could no longer receive workers’ compensation – he had received the maximum benefits – Pickel applied for Social Security Disability Insurance, VSP reported.

As a result of defrauding Social Security Disability Insurance, officials sent Pickel to federal prison in Kentucky, where VSP special agents picked him up when released. A jury trial is set for August 8.

Source: Virginia State Police

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