A former workers’ compensation claims adjuster and all eight of her alleged accomplices must now face felony grand theft charges after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Investigation Division revealed a $318,250 fraudulent check scheme.
“Today’s developments underscore my department’s commitment to investigate and prosecute the widespread abuse and fraud that drive up costs in the workers’ compensation system,” said Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. “Serious reform to California’s workers’ compensation system must include changing its current culture, which encourages this kind of illegal activity.”
According to CDI investigators, Linda Anne Wiser, 53, of Glendale, allegedly issued 125 fraudulent claims checks to her friends and associates over a one year period while working as a claims adjuster at Chubb Insurance Company in Los Angeles. Evidence obtained from search warrants reportedly shows that most of the checks were cashed and/or deposited into bank accounts held by the alleged accomplices, and that Wiser received ‘kickbacks” for her role in the scheme.
In addition to Wiser, the following suspects are in custody or have posted bail: Lionel Dwayne Cannon, 39, of San Bernardino, Constantino Rufus Hall, 38, of San Bernardino; Marquette Duval Jenkins, 27, of Rialto; James William Johnson, 35, of Rialto, Melanee Ellise McInnis, 23, of San Bernardino; Larry Gilbert Moss, Jr., 28, of San Bernardino; Robert Christopher Raphael, 35, of Rialto; and Shannon Jemel Smith, 30, of Rialto.
Commissioner Garamendi has worked to reform the workers’ compensation system since taking office in January 2003. He has prioritized the effort to fight workers’ compensation fraud and abuse and strengthened cooperation between CDI and local district attorneys.
The cases are being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Workers’ Compensation Division. Bail for each of the suspects is from $25,000 to $100,000.
For more information on workers’ compensation and the Garamendi Plan for Reform, please visit the CDI Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov.
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